Remote workers are 38% less likely to receive bonuses and work nearly double the overtime of their in-office peers – Hybrid workers fare best
We analyzed millions of data points and hundreds of studies to determine how, if at all, working from home impacts career advancement. We found that hybrid workers had the best prospects, outweighing both online-only and in-office employees.
References and methods for this study can be found in the Methods and Procedures PDF.
We know you’re ready for the statistics, so let’s dive in.
Our key findings are as follows:
- Remote workers are 38% less likely to receive bonuses
- Remote workers have worse performance reviews and don’t advance as quickly as their office-working peers
- Remote workers do nearly 50% more overtime compared to in-office workers
- Hybrid workers earned on average 23% more than remote workers, and 12% more than office-only workers
- From 2019 to 2020, the number of women working from home rose 7% more than men
- The employment rate for disabled people dropped 1.4% between 2019 and 2020. For those without a disability, it dropped by 4.5%
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were the largest demographic to be able to work from home during the pandemic at 39.2%
- 70% of the cities where remote work is most popular have a higher cost of living than the national average
- 70% of workers agreed that remote worker’s wages should be set by the cost of living in their city of residence
Remote workers 38% less likely to receive bonuses
Regardless of their base salary and in what sector they worked, remote employees were 38% less likely to get bonus pay than their office working counterparts between 2011 and 2020.
Management and supervisors seem to be biased when it comes to judging the quality of work produced by remote employees.
When a worker is seen in the office every day, it can be easy to judge those a manager knows better to be more worthy (Martin, 2021).
With the pandemic skewing remote work trends, it remains to be seen if this will continue post-COVID.
Remote workers have worse performance reviews, fewer promotions
As stated above, when managers don’t directly see what their employees are doing, or even see their employees at all, a negative bias develops.
It’s an easy assumption to make – if you don’t see your employees working, it is harder to imagine what they’re doing or wonder if they’re even working at all.
Dan Schawbel of Linkedin suggests that both employees and managers need to work to address this bias by establishing clear objectives, success milestones, and regular virtual meetings with cameras turned on for greater visibility (2021).
Remote workers do nearly 50% more over time compared to in-office workers
The same article mentioned above shows that despite getting fewer promotions, bonuses, and raises, remote workers put in far more hours than their in-office peers.
Online employees work nearly 50% more over time, further exacerbating the gulf between what managers think of their remote employees versus what they actually do (Schawbel, 2021).
Hybrid workers earned on average best salaries
Seeming to blend all the good aspects of in-office work and the added convenience of working from home, hybrid workers made better salaries than both in-person and online employees.
Hybrid workers, those who spend some time working in person and some time working online earned 23.4% more than employees who worked entirely online.
Additionally, they earned 12% more than those working completely in person (Martin, 2021).
More women are working from home than men
During the pandemic, from 2019 to 2020, the number of employees working from home rose from 22% to 42%.
Interestingly, the number of women working from home increased more than that of men.
The number of women rose by 23%, whereas the number of men only increased by 16% – a 7% difference (Strozewski, 2021).
Disabled people retained employment 3.1% more than non-disabled: 2019 – 2020.
The national unemployment rate soared to its’ peak in April of 2020, reaching 14.7% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
From 2019 to 2020, 61.8 million people without a disability were employed, a 4.5% drop from the previous year.
For people with a disability, the employment rate only fell by 1.4% (National Organization on Disability, 2022).
While any drop in employment isn’t good, the fact that disabled workers were able to retain employment at a much higher level speaks to the fact that offering remote work encourages diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Offering remote work options helps disabled people, which make up 15% of the global population, remain employed.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders largest demographic able to work from home at 39.2%
It’s been well noted that workers of ethnic and racial minorities have suffered greatly due to the pandemic.
Only 20.4% of Black Americans are able to work from home. The numbers for Hispanic Americans are even worse at 15.2%.
Following this line of reasoning, one might think that white workers would fare best, but they don’t. 25.9% of white Americans are able to work from home.
A possibly surprising 39.2% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are able to telework (Gould & Kandra, 2021).
However, the number of AAPI workers who were not able to retain their position led the U.S. population in those with long-term unemployment and many have had to suffer from and/or hear news about their fellow AAPI-ers enduring attacks and hate crimes.
48% of the AAPI population of unemployed individuals remained out of work for 6+ months as of 2021 (Ramirez, 2021).
70% of most popular remote work cities have a higher cost of living than the national average
The 10 cities with the highest number of remote workers are:
- Bend, Oregon
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Wilmington, Delaware
- Johnson City, Tennessee
- Eugene, Oregon
- Cape Coral, Florida
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Tampa Bay, Florida
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
Of those 10, 70% have a higher cost of living than the national average. The cost-of-living indices are based on an average of 100.
The three cities that fall below the average are Wilmington, DE (89.9), Johnson City, TN (82), and Jacksonville, FL (93.5). The highest is Bend, OR at 123.5 (Smith, 2021, & Best Places to Live, 2022).
70% of workers agreed that remote wages should be set by the local cost of living
With the recent rise in the number of remote workers, many employees are taking advantage of their newfound freedoms by moving to areas with lower costs of living.
While this is great to extend the amount your salary can cover, it also creates tension for employees who cannot work from home or choose not to.
According to a survey of 7,000 workers in the UK, 70% agreed that salaries should be set depending on the cost of living based on your city of residence, while 30% felt it was unfair.
Many companies are offering incentives to employees to entice them back into the office, like wage increases or stipends to cover travel costs, but providing different pay to workers doing the same job based on their location can get tricky.
The key to successfully navigating this complex issue is openness and honesty. Get feedback from your employees and make sure that no one accidentally finds out what their salary is based on (Ro, 2020).
If you’d like to know how we came to our conclusions or check our sources, please take a look at our Methods and Procedures document. We hope this article has been interesting and informative.
But what has your experience been? Please let us know by reaching out to us on Facebook, Twitter or contact us directly.