Remote working allows people to essentially work from anywhere, (not necessarily just from home). After the Covid-19 lockdowns and a lot of enforced remote and home working, it would be fair to assume that more of us will continue to work this way in the long term. But does everyone want to? And just how prevalent is remote working in 2021? We’ve taken a look in our 2021 round up of UK remote working statistics.
Our Findings in a Nutshell
Just here for the bullet points? That’s ok! Here are the most notable of our remote working statistics:
- 36% of people want to work exclusively from home even after Covid is over
- Given the choice, only 21% of people in the UK would choose to work exclusively from an office after Covid measures have been lifted
- 35.8% want to work from a combination of both home and office
- Two thirds of 25 to 34 year olds, however, want to be in the office at least some of the time. This is the only age group for whom “home” isn’t the first choice of permanent working arrangement
- The number of searches in Google UK for “remote jobs” has increased almost 10-fold in 5 years
You’ll find further information and statistics if you keep on reading.
Do people want to keep working from home after Covid?
We asked 1,000 people in the UK (in January 2021) the following question using Google Surveys:
- “Where would you rather work (After Covid)?
- From home
- From a combination of workplace and home
- At an office or other shared place of work
7% of respondents gave “other” as an answer.
Most people do not want to go back to the office full time once Covid measures are lifted.
When asked, “Where would you rather work (after Covid) this is how they answered.
- Just over a fifth of people in the UK want to work completely from a shared workplace or office
- 36% want to work from home long term
- 35.8% want to work from a combination of both home and the office
In other words, almost 80% of the population would rather not go back to the office full time.
This was pretty consistent across both men and women in our poll and also relatively consistent amongst age groups. But one particular age group was less likely than others to want to continue working from home.
Here is how the 25 – 34s answered:
In this age group, the biggest answer by quite some way (39% of all responses) was a combination of a workplace and home.
Home polled second with 29% of responses and exclusively from an office wasn’t too far behind (26.5%).
In other words, just about two thirds of those aged 25 – 34 want to work at least some of their week from an office and for over a quarter, that’s their entire week.
This is the only age group for which “home” wasn’t the top answer as a preference for where to work after Covid.
Remote Job Statistics
But let’s take Covid out of the equation for a moment here. Because in truth, remote working is different from exclusively working at home. And it’s a whole world of different from being forced to be at home consistently for months and trying to work while homeschooling. And coping with all kinds of emotions brought about by the fact that you’re essentially being grounded because of a pandemic.
But I digress.
Remote working has been on the up since way before that pesky pandemic.
When something’s on our mind, we very often head off to Google to find out more about it. So we love data about searches in Google to identify trends and changes.
Over the last 5 years, the number of searches in Google each month in the UK alone has risen incredibly. The table below shows a few keywords relating to remote working jobs and the number of searches each month for that word/phrase in Google UK (data from kwfinder.com).
|Remote jobs||Work from home jobs|
In graph form, that looks a bit like this…
We can clearly see a demand surge over the course of the pandemic. But long before lockdown, thousands of people each month were taking to Google to look for remote or work from home jobs.
Demand for the tools that help
Such significant volumes of people working remotely meant a surge in demand for project management and teleconferencing software. Here are the number of times in an average month over the last 12 that people searches for some of the biggest names in software to help with work from home:
How many people worked at home during the pandemic?
For a sizeable chunk of 2020 and for all of 2021 so far, the official Government advice has been to work from home if you can reasonably do so. So it’s going to come as no surprise to see a surge in numbers of those working remotely over this time.
According to ONS data:
- In April 2020, 46.4% of those who are employed were doing at least some of their work from home
- For 86% of those people, the work from home element of their work was as the direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic
Find your next remote opportunity
It’s clear there’s a phenomenal shift in the way we work and for some people, WFH or work remotely is going to be a permanent thing.
And if, perhaps, you’re just considering your own remote working future, you can find a whole host of job listings and incredible resources over on Remoters.net, an amazing resource from Aleyda Solis.