In Remote Work We Trust

Hello from the land where calling people back to the office is the latest way to mask layoffs. But, umm we’re different, In remote work we trust.

The 2023 State of Remote Work report highlights the experiences of 3,000 remote workers from around the world. The respondents include those who work remotely all the time or some of the time as well as employees, independent consultants, and business owners. This report is brought to you by Buffer, Remote OK, and Nomad List.


1. Remote Work Continues to be on the Bright Side in 2023

A whopping 98% of respondents want to work remotely for the rest of their careers. Another 98% would also recommend remote work to others. These two responses are up slightly from 2022.

2. Working in pyjamas, comfortable and Happy

The respondents were asked about their experience of remote work. Surprisingly, the results were overwhelmingly positive. 91% of respondents report having a positive experience, 8% were neutral and just 1% described their experience with remote work as negative.

3. The Secret's Out: We have discovered the ultimate Work-Life Balance hack!

Setting boundaries in remote work is extremely important because, without boundaries, you might find yourself answering emails in your sleep, attending virtual meetings during your morning shower, and accidentally sharing your screen with Netflix on. Trust us, you don't want that kind of 'flexibility' in your life.

  • 71% of respondents believe it's important to set work boundaries, but remote workers are only moderately successful in doing so.

  • 81% of remote workers check work emails outside of work hours, with 63% doing so on weekends and 34% while on vacation.

  • 48% of remote workers frequently work outside of traditional work hours.

  • 44% of remote workers have worked more this year compared to last year.

  • 22% of remote workers report that not being able to unplug is their biggest challenge with remote work.

Work-life balance and boundaries are set by the leadership. Is your leadership taking breaks so that employees don’t feel guilty when they take theirs?

4. Hybrid Work: The Love Triangle we never asked for

The respondents were asked what kind of structure would they prefer for 2023-

  • 71% of respondents chose fully remote.

  • 20% of respondents preferred a hybrid but remote-first setup, which is similar to being fully remote.

  • Only 6% of respondents preferred a hybrid and office occasional setup.

  • Another 2% of respondents preferred a hybrid and office-first setup.

  • Just, 1% of respondents preferred a fully office-based setup.

The respondents were then asked about their current setup,

  • 64% of respondents were fully remote.

  • 18% of respondents had a hybrid and remote-first setup.

  • 9% of respondents had a hybrid and office occasional setup, which required or encouraged them to be in the office.

  • Another 9% of respondents had a hybrid and office-first setup, with remote work allowed.

5. The superpower: Flexibility

When asked the biggest reason to work remotely, respondents said FLEXIBILITY. But, what kind of flexibility?

  • 22% of respondents cited flexibility in how they spend their time.

  • 19% of respondents said the flexibility to live where they choose.

  • 13% of respondents said the flexibility to choose their work location.

Having good collaboration and communication practices is key to making remote work a success. The report found an almost even split between asynchronous-first and synchronous-first work. Though most prefer either mostly or all asynchronous work, followed by evenly synchronous and asynchronous work.

6. The pendulum of career growth is swinging towards positives

This year, the report observed a significant rise in the percentage of people who believed that remote work had a positive impact on their career growth, increasing from 14% to 36%. Moreover, the proportion of respondents who found remote work challenging for their career growth dropped from 45% in 2022 to 28% in 2023.

Remote workers find that their career growth is easier due to being measured on output and impact rather than time spent in the office. Remote work levels the playing field for all employees.

However, some remote workers struggle with career growth because they feel invisible and left out of conversations about new opportunities. This is particularly true for those who work in hybrid setups that require occasional or frequent office presence.

How hybrid is unfair according to certain employees is explained in the video below:

7. Are employees Engaged, Empowered and Motivated?

Remote work isn't as lonely as you think: 75% of remote workers feel connected to their colleagues, even across time zones! And it gets better - over half of the respondents are engaged in their job, while only 30% feel unengaged.

Plus, compared to last year, almost half of the remote workers are feeling more energized. Only 21% feel burnt out, while 31% report no change.

Employee Engagement in Remote work just got easier - Check out Trivia and EngageWith for Slack and Microsoft teams.

8. The biggest struggle is staying home too often and not having a reason to leave

Remote work challenges come and go, and this year's biggest struggle might surprise you. According to the survey, 33% of remote workers struggle with staying home too often because they don't have a reason to leave. Loneliness is a close second, with 23% of remote workers reporting it as a challenge.

Interestingly, in the 2020 State of Remote Work, collaboration and communication were the top challenges. This is been decreasing each year, which may be a signal that companies have found effective solutions for this.

9. Is your Pay tied to Location?

The majority of remote workers report that their pay is not tied to their location, which is a positive trend for those who value location flexibility. However, due to pay parity and country standards, 35% say that compensation is affected by location. Meanwhile, 22 % of the respondents have no idea.

According to us, Whether compensation should be tied to a location for remote workers is a grey area. On one hand, tying compensation to the local cost of living can be seen as fair and consistent for a hybrid setup and in-office employees. On the other hand, remote work offers the flexibility to live and work from anywhere, and compensation tied to location can limit that flexibility.

10. Am I Audible?

Remote workers spend 1-10 hours a week in meetings, with 52% opting for 1-5 hours. This indicates healthy work practices and a shift towards asynchronous work.

Surprisingly, 62% prefer to be on camera during video calls, citing better communication through facial expressions. Some remote workers don't want to prep for the camera (26%), prefer to move around (22%), or feel it takes too much energy (18%). Those who don't like being on camera worry about unprofessional environments (15%) or dislike seeing themselves on screen (17%).

The report clearly shows that Remote work is Great, it isn’t going anywhere. But, Remote work isn't for everyone, and that's okay. The important thing is to find the setup that works best for you and your team.