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Remote Worker Trends Outlook 2017

Digital nomad. Business traveler. Expat. Workfrom home-er. There’s more than one flavor of remote worker out there. (And yes, we took a few liberties with that last category.)

If you fall into one of these categories, you likely belong to a couple of other ones, too. Maybe you’re a startup founder or a consultant, but you’re also technically a freelancer. Remote work is full of gray areas, and that’s something we celebrate.

At Workfrom, we’re focused on the future of work and all of its possibilities. But we are also more than a little curious about the folks we’re serving—the ones who have helped us to build up a network of great spaces to work from in more than 150 countries. (This may include you!)

We wondered: just who ARE these people? What are they working on, and what do they care about?

So we did what any scrappy startup would do: we asked you. We launched a global survey on remote work trends, and more than 1000 professionals from a variety of fields and many parts of the world responded.

Some of the results were surprising.

GIVE ME GEAR & VIDEO: 7 out of 10 respondents said that having the right tools of the trade such as laptop bags and standing desks are their top ‘must-haves’ to ensure productivity in their remote work lives. Video conferencing tools such as Skype and WebEx came in a close second, with project management apps like Asana and Trello rounding out the top three selections.

ON MY OWN/NOT ALONE: Just under half of the remote workers that we surveyed work on their own, meaning they’re not part of a team. We know that feeling like a part of a community is critical, but didn’t realize that such a significant portion of the population is flying solo. All the more reason to become a Workfrom Pro member, where you can hang out with 2,000+ remote workers in our friendly tribe on Slack.

REMOTE WORKERS WITHOUT BORDERS: The majority of respondents (57%) that work on remote teams have colleagues spread across multiple time zones and countries. Of those, remote employees, entrepreneurs and consultants/contractors were more likely to be part of a global team.

NO OFFICE REQUIRED/AT HOME OFTEN: Most remote folks indicated that they don’t have to work out of an office at all during the week, yet 42% are still ‘clocking in’ 5+ days per week from their home offices. (If the need for reliable WiFi and the right work environment is keeping you from venturing out, search for great spots nearby with kickass connection speeds, ambient atmospheres, and killer coffee on Workfrom.)

COWORKING/COLIVING IS TOPS: With their location independence, remote workers are certainly interested in traveling. However, most prefer to do it through coworking or coliving programs like Nomad House, Unsettled or We Roam—a shorter term, flexible arrangement where they can meet like-minded pros. In fact, these offerings scored higher than volunteer/pro-bono opportunities, overseas retreats, ecotourism, and longer, more structured travel cohort programs like Remote Year.

Check out the full infographic, share it on social media and stay tuned for the full results of our survey, which we’ll be releasing soon!

Remote Work Trends Survey Infographic


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