What is the state of remote work in 2018?

American Express’ latest TV advert is a dad with a sleeping baby, sending a payment without waking the little one. It’s oh so cute. But beyond the sweet little baby, what more perfect image of their target market – than a thirty-something new-parent, working remotely and doing online chores, in between the endless tasks that parenthood entails?

We do more than ever on our computers, living our lives and working online away from the office. A huge percentage of the world now works remotely, according to this article the figure stands at 70% of people who remotely at least once a week.

So just how are things going in the world of remote work? We’re going to delve into the 2018 stats and take a look at how life is changing. Buffer recently published their State of Remote 2018, and here’s how people answered.

TL:DR: People are happier working remotely, and fewer people are becoming “digital nomads” than we would have expected. Co-working spaces are becoming popular.

Table of Contents

Remote work for life

Those who change to remote work, love it. Whether working for a company or being self-employed; remote work offers flexibility, freedom to travel, satisfaction, and as we’ll see, happiness. For all of these reasons, 90% of surveyed say that they would spend their whole career working remotely. It also requires to become very responsible for performing your tasks successfully. 

Of course, that’s the question, you can work when you feel like it with a well-organized agenda, you don’t have a boss constantly breathing down your neck, but the feeling becomes even clearer when asked whether respondents would recommend remote work to others, with a massive 94% positive answers.

Remote first

Young parents have a tough time in the modern world; juggling work, social life and kids. Remote work provides the right environment to make this situation easier. That is said, it takes personal commitment and motivation to get it right. One of the most difficult tasks in starting out in remote work is discipline. Getting the workflow in place and becoming efficient is something that most people have to work from the beginning. But as you can see, flexibility and family time are the top two responses when asked about the benefits.

But of course. It isn’t all bread and roses. There are challenges to overcome. From the lack of contact with people to the Netflix account waiting to be watched, remote workers have certain things that niggle them. Many companies are promoting themselves as remote friendly. They actively put strategies in place to allow their staff to work away from the office. But this becomes tiring; the truth is that companies prefer to have their employees in the office and at meetings.

In most cases, it quickly becomes apparent that reality is: ‘remote friendly really means remote tolerant’. So we are seeing a new emphasis on remote first. This is a framework in which business is done remotely in the first instance. For example, if two workers are in the office, they are obliged to use the Slack feed to pass information, so that everyone, regardless their location has access to the same data. More people are encouraged to work away from the office, and remote work takes the lead in all circumstances.

Where do remote workers remotely work?

Over three-quarters of remote workers have their homes as their office, making for classic moments such as this one. Kids, animals and family making frequent interruptions in meetings become more frequent. As seen in the worldwide response to the video, no-one really minds, and in fact, meetings are more relaxed and even fun when unexpected guests pop-in to say hello.

Offices and co-working spaces come in nearly neck and neck which throws up an interesting point to location. With co-working spaces being relatively new,  they have quickly become a choice for remote workers.


They offer a place where many people work together on a wide variety of projects, and skills and business can be shared across different companies within the co-working space. They are also, as any remote worker will tell you, a lot cheaper.

Remote Travel

Remote work offers great opportunities to see the world. With a laptop and a wifi connection, there is no need to be tied to a city or even a country. If there is one thing that really makes a difference between remote work from office work, it is the freedom to move around. 81% of people work whilst travelling outside of their home city. Only a small percentage of people are taking to “digital nomadism”, a concept based on remote work allowing workers to travel around and live in cities month by month while doing their job online. With hype around this concept, we would expect to see more people taking this up, yet according to surveys, only 11% spend more than 50% of their time away from their home city. It will be interesting to see how this figure changes over the coming years.

At Globexs we’re fans of remote work and we live by the principle of remote first. If you want to visit Europe, contact us and we’ll help you find the best places to stay.



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