Digital technology has upended the way we work and where we can work. And a new survey from AND CO and Remote Year has some insightful data regarding the state of remote workers in 2018.
According to the survey, 55% of the respondents said they worked remotely 100% of the time. There was another 28% who said they worked remotely and on-site, and another 15% stated they are mostly on-site working remotely only some of the time. The remainder 2% described their working situation as other.
The survey asks questions potential freelancers will want to know as well as those with experience so they can learn more about the trends driving the segment. It also provides valuable information for businesses looking to hire freelancers as part of their workforce.
For small businesses, the freelance segment has become an invaluable resource for acquiring the talents of high-level professionals. Owners who can’t afford to hire such professionals full-time are going into the freelancer market and obtaining their services on temporary and project basis. This has made small businesses more efficient and capable of competing locally, nationally and even globally.
The survey was conducted in May 2018 with the participation of 3,755 remote workers. The average age of the respondents was 32 years old, with males making up almost two-thirds of the freelancers at 62.8% and females at 36.7%.
2018 Remote Working Statistics
The majority of people working as remote workers are relatively new, with 73% stating they started going remote in the last four years. But once they start working this way they like it, as close to 80% said they remain for as long as possible.
When it comes to industry segments, 80% of creatives and marketing professionals want to work remotely for the foreseeable future compared to 76% of engineers.
A further breakdown of industries reveals close to half or 47% are in the creative/design field. There were 15% who said other, followed by 14% in marketing/PR, 11% in engineering, and 5% in admin/support. Product, sales and account management /customer support made up 3% or less of the workers.
As to why people want to become a remote worker, 62% said the freedom and flexibility it offers for living and working from anywhere. Another 16% also said flexibility but the reason was family obligations.
Travel and Remote Work
Being able to travel and work has become a big selling point for freelancers. Although the vast majority or 83% work from their country, a growing number want to travel aboard.
Currently on 9% work in a foreign country while another 8% split their time evenly between home and abroad.
Of those that travel, 54% visit 1-2 countries in a year. Almost a third or 29% said 3-5 countries while 8% said 5-7 countries, with 5% saying an impressive 10+ countries in a given year.
Tools of the Trade
The most important tool the respondents identified in the survey was for real-time communications solutions at 44%. Slack and Workplace by Facebook were mentioned.
There were 20% who said project management tools such as JIRA, Asana and Trello are key, while 18% said video chat services including Google Hangouts and Zoom.
The companies who carried out the survey offer freelance related services. AND.CO is part of Fiverr and it provides freelancers and studios with a free application for managing their time more effectively. This includes invoicing, contracts, proposals, expense tracking, time tracking, and task management.
Remote Year takes care of the traveling, accommodation, co-working, and other logistics for freelancers looking to work in another country. According to the company, participants who take part live and work in a different city around the globe each month.[“Source-smallbiztrends”]