More than 1,500 decision makers and employees in North America, Europe, APAC, and Latin America reveal how their companies are preparing for a distributed future.
The conversation is no longer about the benefits of remote work. Instead, it’s about what comes after remote work: distributed teams. And for companies around the world, the shift has already begun.
This report includes data points from leaders and workers across major global markets. If you are a leader, this research contains the information you need to access and retain top talent; realize the cost efficiencies of global hiring; and future-proof your organization against a rapidly shifting economic climate.
Nearly half of businesses report growth in the number of full-time employees they have working outside their home country.
The benefits of remote and distributed teams are not limited to cost savings. Higher levels of productivity, increased retention and employee satisfaction, higher quality applicant pools, and entry into new markets are all inspiring businesses to look beyond their borders.
A new era in which distributed and diverse teams drive more value for the companies ambitious enough to build them.
This study is the first to look beyond the benefits of remote work and into the distributed future of the new workplace.
Our research reveals how companies in different regions of the world view distributed work — and how their motivations for building global teams differ across talent acquisition, cost savings, employee experiences, and other factors.
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report increases in the number of full-time employees working remotely from another country.
Businesses have realized the advantages of extending remote work beyond their home countries and are reaping the rewards. With so many companies hiring abroad, businesses are beginning to look in nontraditional hubs to find the right talent.
report increases in the number of total full-time employees working remotely.
Whether in-country or beyond, companies say they are increasing the number of remote workers they employ. While our data shows employees have begun to prioritize salary and security over flexibility (a change from 2022), employee demands for remote work options continue to affect the market.
of people on distributed teams say retention has increased since adopting the distributed workforce model.
While arguments raged over whether remote work would flourish or flounder, the real story happened within the teams themselves. Employees working within distributed workforces are more likely to stay longer, and companies are adjusting their hiring practices accordingly.
of decision makers say the number of quality applicants per open role has increased since their company adopted a distributed remote workforce model.
Companies regularly find that hiring in more places not only means increasing application volume but also increasing applicant quality. Better candidates means a better team, and a better team means a stronger business.
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of decision makers in fully remote companies see increases in productivity, with 36% seeing increases in engagement.
Fully remote companies reward great processes and cultures while highlighting the shortfalls of inconsistent ones. Companies that take the plunge and go zero-office see significant boosts to productivity and engagement.
of employees name technology issues as a challenge on a distributed team, while 29% of decision makers are concerned about maintaining company culture and values.
Traditional tools from an office-only past cause friction for employees, a problem companies are still trying to solve — especially for less tech-savvy workers. Meanwhile, employers see benefits to company culture but experience more challenges to maintain that culture.
of men say they would consider working in a different country than where their company is headquartered compared to just 61% of women.
While this statistic may appear to indicate that men are more open to relocation, that does not tell the whole story. Women and men both report wanting flexibility in their work. However, women are more likely to report using flexibility to care for a family member, suggesting women’s remote work preferences are influenced by more responsibilities at home on average.
expect their companies to become more geographically distributed, while only 18% of Boomers say the same.
While this information may not be surprising, the degree to which Boomers do not believe in the rise of distributed work is significant. In fact, 56% of Boomers expect their companies to become even more local, suggesting pushback against remote work as a whole.
Many people who are pessimistic about remote work are concerned about things like productivity and culture. When they finally go remote and experience it for themselves, the data shows they are likely to see that the challenges they feared are not so bad, and in many cases are positively surprised by the productivity improvements.
Co-Founder and COO of Remote
Several findings provide key insights on where opinions diverge
of companies with distributed workforces are setting up new entities to hire in new countries.
Most companies continue to move slowly in distributed hiring, opting to open their own entities instead of taking more modern routes like employer of record (EOR) services. While opening an entity makes sense for long-term investments and large teams, most companies are spending more than necessary when hiring internationally.
of companies with distributed workforces have six offices or more, compared to 19% of one-country remote companies and 18% of office-only, non-remote companies.
Companies may be hiring in new places, but many are stuck in outdated ways of thinking. In the era of remote work, companies do not need to own offices in other countries to hire there. These significant commercial real estate expenses are placing stress on operations and headcount budgets.
of in-country remote workers and 59% of distributed remote workers would rather their company cut access to remote work than accept a salary freeze.
This statistic indicates a shift in sentiment from our 2022 Global Benefits Report. Employees now value salary more than flexibility, likely due to increased economic uncertainty around the world.
of decision makers in remote workforces say headcount costs have increased since adopting a distributed remote workforce model.
While these numbers could reflect increasing salaries or inflation, that would only explain part of the puzzle. The numbers suggest that companies are spending more to hire remotely, but decision makers report that the talent they get by doing so is worth the price of admission.
So many companies believe they have to make a major investment in a new office just to hire one person in another country. That is not the case. Working with an EOR allows companies to be more flexible with their hiring plans. You can hire one person in one country, five people in another, and 10 people in another, all using the same provider and all on the same bill.
Vice President of Onboarding and Mobility at Remote
These guides can help you plan, build, manage, and pay your distributed workforce.
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Remote conducted a survey from November 8-29, 2022 of 1,500+ HR and business decision makers and employees (including contractors) in four regions:
Overall, we surveyed 495 decision makers and 509 employees around the world.
This study includes three main groups based on working location:
A company with employees working only in the office and only in one country (n=265).
A company with employees working fully remote or hybrid in one country (n=381).
A company with employees who work remotely in more than one country (n=358).
We also placed quotas on company size and employee titles. To supplement our panel sample, we conducted a snowball sample using Remote-owned channels (n=577).