We’ve all heard that remote work and distributed teams are the future. But what does this trend look like in practice? We partnered with FYI to survey 486 tech professionals who work remotely at least part of the time, and came up with some interesting remote work statistics that reveal the attitudes, frustrations, and habits of these workers.
Employees really, really love their remote life
If remote work had an NPS, it would be sky-high. As the trend has grown, people generally report the benefits of flexible schedules, work/life balance, and productivity improvements. Results from our survey validate these observations: it’s clear that those who’ve gone remote aren’t looking back.
91% say remote work is a good fit for them
7% feel neutral
2% don’t feel positively
96% would recommend working remotely to a friend
More and more work happens outside the office
Modern collaboration software like Slack, Zoom, and Miro make it possible for everyone to take a meeting from the coffeeshop, or keep up on a project’s status while waiting for a flight. In a sense, we’re all remote workers some of the time.
While occasionally working from home is common, we’ve also noted a trend in people cutting the co-located cord completely and going 100% office-free. Survey respondents have noticed, too: even if we aren’t wholly remote, we know someone who is.
69% have at least one team member working remotely full-time
60% are doing it themselves
70% have been working remotely full-time for more than 3 years
Remote meetings are the new norm
It seems that video links and shared collaboration spaces are the new must-have meeting accessories.
91% have had a remote meeting in the past 7 days
73% had at least 4 remote meetings in 7 days
88% met with their own teams remotely
59% met with other teams at their company
55% met with customers
36% met with prospects
Top 10 challenges of virtual meetings
A well-run remote meeting is both an art and a science. Check out the most commonly cited issues employees have when they’re trying to come together from different locations.
- Connection and audio quality
- Staying engaged
- Collaboration tools
- Non-verbal communication
- Letting everyone speak
- Communicating decisions
Remote work: what’s hardest?
While respondents are happy working remotely, they also acknowledge it’s not always a walk in the park (even if it enables more actual walks in the park).
Here are some of the issues respondents struggle with the most, when it comes to collaborating from different locations. And since we at Miro are a distributed team — and we also keep our finger on the pulse of remote work best practices at top companies — we curated top tips for mitigating these challenges.
When you’re not sitting next to each other, it can be harder (and take longer) to get things done. Instead of a casual chat, you need to type something out — and you don’t always know whether the recipient has read your message.
“If you’re working remotely, don’t be afraid to just keep your camera on all the time, not just for meetings. It makes it so much easier to ask someone across the globe, ‘Hey, will this work? ’ instead of using email or Slack.”
Senior User Experience Designer at Salesforce
Whether it’s heading out for happy hour drinks or chatting about the weekend, remote workers have to work harder to connect with each other. And if others on your team are colocated, they may not capture in writing what they’ve talked about in person.
“In meetings, create a space for casual conversations. And if you model this behavior by — for example — asking people about their weekends, it’s easier for your team to do the same.”
Jesse James Garrett
co-founder of Adaptive Path
Some remote employees feel expected to always need to be available, since there’s less separation between work and home. Collaboration tools can unfortunately add to the blurred boundaries, especially if you get pings from different time zones.
“Set up calendar blocks or update your Slack status to let people know when you will be available, or that you might be slow to respond due to another priority”
Director of Growth and Acquisition at Miro
Building processes and scaling
The rituals and processes of a distributed team are different than a colocated one — and also be different than a hybrid team. There are multiple aspects to building a cohesive culture, from the personal (e.g., eating lunch together) to the tactical (e.g., making decisions asynchronously).
“Our distributed team uses Miro to work asynchronously, answering notes on our boards in a timely manner, so the answers will be waiting by the time the others wake up.”
Lead Recruiter at Miro
Remote employees need to plan a bit more carefully to make brainstorming and planning sessions run smoothly and productively. It can be difficult to read body language, and you need a strong moderator to make sure everyone stays on task.
“We schedule regular virtual meetings where we can work together as a team: brainstorming, workshopping, and reviewing deliverables. This kind of organic collaboration is so critical to making us feel like a real team — and it delivers better results.”
Director of Customer and Product Marketing at Miro