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If you’re not familiar with being a remote worker (a.k.a. a telecommuter
or teleworker) doing the work-from-home (WFH) thing, well, you’re probably
going to be soon. The effort to stop the stampeding spread
of COVID-19, before the pandemic becomes a precursor to pure dystopia, revolves
around one thing: getting people not to congregate. That means letting (or
forcing) employees to WFH until things are looking up.

Plenty of people have been working remotely for years, and
that’s why Buffer puts out an annual State of Remote Work
 (along with AngelList this time). Buffer—a 100-percent-remote-employee company—recently surveyed  3,500 teleworkers, the most they’ve ever included,
to see how people feel about their remote-work situations. This was all
pre-coronavirus, mind you.

The most important number of all is right there at the top: A
full 98 percent of those surveyed want to work remotely for the rest of their
careers, at least sometimes. Amazingly, that number is down 1 percent from 2019!

Likewise, 97 percent would recommend it to others. With COVID-19 forcing WFH on people, that number might go down next year. But then again, people might get a taste for WFH and love it all the more.

Only 57 percent of respondents actually work from home
full-time. The next-highest percentage, about 16.5 percent, do it the majority
of the time. The third-highest group, 10 percent, do it very little, maybe one day a week. 70 percent
of them are happy with the amount of time they work at home; 19 percent would like to do
it more.

The survey also asks specifically what the benefits and
struggles are with remote work. The top benefit is flexibility in schedule and
in location. (Why not go with your spouse on their business trip to Hawaii? You
can still work all day in the hotel!)

What's the Biggest Benefit You See to working Remotely?

The struggle is real, however, when it comes to collaboration
and loneliness. Each gets a 20 percent rating for what people struggle with the
most. Not far behind is that 18 percent of remote-workers can’t get
unplugged from work.

What's Your Biggest Struggle with Working Remotely.

Wondering where most remote workers actually are
during the day? 80 percent are at home, as you’d expect. Seven percent are at
co-working spaces, and 3 percent are at coffee shops (27 percent list
coffee shops as a prime secondary location, when necessary). And even those who are primarily WFH spend about
9 percent of their time going to the office.

Next is the stance that respondents’ employers take in
letting people work from home. This is a chart that is surely going to change a lot in the next
year, as the world lives through (and hopefully, recovers fully from) this
coronavirus. But only 30 percent of those surveyed worked for a company that allows everyone to work remotely. The majority, 43 percent, had teams that were split—15 percent were allowed to work at home as needed. 2021 will likely look far different.

What is your Workplace's stance on remote work?

There’s a lot more to this report, including deep dives into
some of the answers. For example, why would 3 percent of remote workers not
recommend it for others? The answers are interesting, and you should read them
all in the full
report at Buffer
. Now, go wash your hands.

Further Reading

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