Take our poll! Do you prefer remote work?

Study reveals remote workers are happier and make more money

Sarah Schlothauer
remote work
© Shutterstock / shevtsovy

Why do so many people love working remotely? (Besides avoiding bumper-to-bumper traffic.) According to a recent study by OWLLabs, remote workers in the United States earn more money and are overall happier with their job when compared to on-site workers. Take our poll: Do you prefer working remotely or working on-site? Let us know what you think!

Remote work is becoming more common for developers. In fact, according to the 2019 StackOverflow Developer Survey, 12% of employees are full-time remote workers, and 31.7% of respondents said that remote work options were the most important factor when deciding between jobs.

The younger generation is turning to remote work. A recent survey taken by College Pulse revealed that undergraduates want to work remotely. Out of 22,970 undergrads from American colleges, 72% said they would prefer a remote job than an on-site office job.

Although IBM removed the option of remote work in 2017, many other companies find success with having remote teams. GitLab’s team, for example, is entirely comprised of remote workers. With their recent company valuation reaching $2.7 billion, suffice to say that the choice is working out for them, at least in the financial regard.

Remote work salaries

OWLLabs released a report in September 2019, claiming: “Remote work isn’t the future of work – it’s the present.” The report examines how employees in the United States feel about remote work, how often they do it, and what industry they work in.

The report categorizes “remote workers” as any employee that “works remotely at any frequency”. Whereas, on-site workers are employees who never work remotely.

One of the main findings was that remote workers earn higher wages compared to on-site workers.

According to the survey results, 26% of remote workers earn more than $100,000 a year, whereas only 8% of on-site workers earn a salary in that bracket.

Why is this? One of the reasons may be that a higher percentage of team managers, directors, founders, C-level employees, and VPs work remotely as compared to on-site workers. This does not mean that you will automatically make more money by working remotely.

SEE ALSO: Digital-only banks—where developer talent meets banking

Measuring happiness

71% of remote workers say that they are happy with their job, compared to 55% of on-site workers.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that remote workers are finding job happiness.

  • Company trust: 82% of respondents agreed that working remotely would make them feel more trusted at work.
  • Less work conflict: 81% agreed that remote work would allow for better management of work-life conflict.
  • Work-life balance: 91% of respondents said they choose to work remotely to better balance work and personal life.
  • No commute: 78% of employees work remotely in order to avoid a hectic commute.

The downsides

Of course, remote work isn’t always a positive experience.

What are some of the downsides and challenges?

  • Meetings are difficult. Remote workers are more likely to experience difficulty when attending meetings. Audio and video quality can affect fully understanding an online meeting, and remote workers are more likely to be interrupted or talked over.
  • Managers are concerned that remote workers are not engaged. However, according to OWLLabs, managers are not concerned about employee loneliness.
  • Longer hours. Remote workers are more likely to work longer hours per week. The good news is that even though they are putting in the hours, their reasons are more positive. 33% of respondents who work more than 40 hours a week say they do so because they enjoy what they do.
  • Will it impact career progression? While 68% of remote workers say they are not concerned that working remotely will impact their career progression, nearly one-fourth (23%) say they are afraid that it will.

SEE ALSO: DevOps, C++ & Python most in demand job skills

What about you?

Take our poll and tell us about your career.

Do you prefer working remotely?

Drop a comment explaining your reasoning. Does working remotely free you from bumper-to-bumper metropolitan traffic? Or do you prefer to work in an office for co-worker camaraderie?

Which do you prefer - working remotely or working on-site?

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Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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2 years ago

Very interesting study, Sarah. Definitely sharing!