Remote Work, Distributed Teams & Independent Worker Statistics

Liz Presson • 19 November 2014

While we’re collecting qualitative research, there are plenty of statistics that show how the number of telecommuters and fully distributed teams will continue to rise. Corporations such as Intuit, IBM and Cisco have experienced positive productivity gains and savings by instituting flexible work arrangements for employees. These distributed companies who are leading the way are influencing more and more to jump on board.

Here’s a living list of statistics– add what you find in the comments section, and we’ll update this post regularly.


Forrester Research’s US Telecommuting Forecast
– 34 million Americans work from home.

– This number is expected to reach a staggering 63 million – or 43% of the U.S. workforce – by 2016.

The Wall Street Journal
– Some 13.4 million people, or 9.4% of U.S. workers, labored at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million people, or 7% of U.S. workers in 1997.

– Businesses that allowed employees to work remotely at least three times a month were more likely to log revenue growth of at least 10% within the last 12 months, compared with firms without such policies.

Global Workplace Analytics 
– Based on current trends, with no growth acceleration, we estimate that regular telecommuters will total 3.9 million by 2016, a 21% increase from the current level.

– Teleworkers are 50% more productive then their office-bound counterparts.

– The company has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity by allowing employees to telecommute and telework.

Distributed Teams

100% Distributed Teams by Scott Berkun
– The list includes companies such as GitHub, Lullabot, StackExchange,MySQL, Treehouse and more.

– Representatives from companies such as O’Reilly Media, Buffer and Red Hat have commented on the post, adding their distributed teams to the list.


Independents, Freelances, Contractors

– By 2020, more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be freelancers,  contractors and temp workers.

Alan Hall Cites a Business Insider Report
– 22% of employees wanted to start their own business.

– 40% of men and 25% of women want to be their own boss with the biggest desire from millennials (54%) and Gen-yers (46%).

Right Management
– 84% of respondents said that they hoped to be in a different job by the end of the year.

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