Virtual Vocations releases the 2020 Remote Work Week Survey results from our Temperature of Telecommuting jobseeker questionnaire revealing new remote job search statistics concerning telework industries, telecommuter habits, demographic data related to remote worker locations and professional preferences, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. workers.
For your convenience and ease of sharing, the new telecommute jobseeker statistics from our 2020 Remote Work Week Survey results are available in the following PDF.
This infographic details key survey respondent data from the more than 1,200 telecommuters and remote jobseekers who participated in our survey as well as a statement from Virtual Vocations CEO Laura Spawn about our survey mission, the importance of the results, and how we plan to use this data in future.
Click the report cover image to the left to view and download this PDF resource.
2020 Remote Work Week Survey Results — New Jobseeker Statistics
The Temperature of Telecommuting Survey is a voluntary questionnaire created for Virtual Vocations members who were actively working remotely or looking for telecommute jobs. From March 23 – 27, 2020, members completed the survey as part of our Remote Work Week (formerly Telecommute Week) celebration. Remote Work Week is a yearly campaign celebrated by Virtual Vocations during the third week of March; 2020 marked our fifth annual event.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Remote Work Week adopted additional significance. The Virtual Vocations team recognized that workers eagerly sought remote work resources as well as expert advice on how to mitigate and overcome the threat of professional insecurity and income instability. Through our Temperature of Telecommuting Survey, we gained invaluable insights into the needs of current and potential telecommuters as well as how we can better serve them with remote work news and information, telecommute job postings from businesses still hiring amid COVID-19, and job search tools and resources.
CEO Statement on the 2020 Remote Work Week Survey Results
“The state of the U.S. job market shifted drastically in March 2020. Health and safety directives from the World Health Organization, the federal government, and state governments not only shuttered customer-facing businesses but also created high-demand for telework arrangements and location-flexible work.
At Virtual Vocations, we wanted to learn more about the immediate needs of U.S. professionals, if the novel coronavirus outbreak impacted their careers, and how they view remote work in light of current job outlooks. Gathering new jobseeker statistics through our voluntary 2020 Remote Work Week Survey achieved these aims and will inspire us to develop better telecommuting guidance and resources to assist jobseekers.”
—Laura Spawn, CEO & Co-Founder, Virtual Vocations, Inc.
Complete 2020 Remote Work Benefits Survey Results
These are the questions and responses from the 2020 Remote Work Week Survey conducted by Virtual Vocations. Questions and answers are divided into the following sections:
- Telework experience level
- Current telecommuting status
- Top remote worker locations
- Popular work-at-home communication tools
- Remote work and caregiving
- Age, education, and career demographics of survey respondents
- Transitioning careers for a home-based job
- Attitudes toward remote work
Survey answers detail the remote work preferences of professionals telecommuting at the time of the survey or actively looking for remote jobs. 1,265 respondents completed the survey.
Telework Experience Level
QUESTION: What telecommuting experience do you have?
- 39.10% – I have lots of experience with telecommuting.
- 36.34% – I have some telecommuting experience.
- 24.56% – None, I am brand new to telecommuting.
75.44% of Remote Work Week Survey respondents have at least some telecommuting experience. For those who are brand new to telecommuting, a few actionable steps will improve your hireability and demonstrate to remote-enabled companies that you can work remotely.
- Embody the top traits of a successful remote worker.
- Develop soft skills that employers value in every industry and economy.
- Understand universal telecommute job qualifications to learn new skills and build on qualifications you already possess.
- Utilize resume formats to land a remote job.
- Try the free Virtual Vocations Getting Started with Telecommuting e-course to initiate you into the world of remote work.
Current Telecommuting Status
QUESTION: Are you telecommuting right now?
- 50.51% – No, but I am looking for a telecommute job.
- 26.01% – Yes, but I have been for a while.
- 17.08% – Yes, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- 6.40% – No.
While most respondents were experienced in working remotely, 24.56% were brand new to telecommuting with 17.08% working remotely for the first time due to COVID-19. Change is not easy, especially when those changes are layered with challenges and anxieties that may not be within our control. Virtual Vocations understand these concerns and we are here to help.
To assist first-time remote workers and companies implementing new telework plans, we created a hub of information, resources, tips, and tools on our COVID-19 resources page. As a 100% virtual business and long-time advocate of telecommuting, it is vital that we work together as well as share our expertise with businesses and their teams who have suddenly needed to adapt their work models and adopt the labels of remote worker and remote company.
Top Remote Worker Locations
QUESTION: What state are you currently located in?
1. Texas — 10.36%
2. California — 9.33%
3. Florida — 7.59%
4. New York — 5.30%
5. Colorado — 4.51%
6. Virginia — 3.95%
7. Georgia — 3.72%
8. New Jersey — 3.48%
9. Pennsylvania — 3.32%
10. North Carolina — 3.24%
We received survey responses from residents of 44 states. The data shown above is an overview of the top 10 states represented by survey respondents. Many remote jobs posted to the Virtual Vocations database are available to jobseekers nationwide. In fact, from 2018 to 2019 the availability of nationwide remote job postings in our database grew 44.16%; however, most telecommuting vacancies are for residents of select states. This is usually due to state-specific tax and employment laws relevant to the employers headquarters location or to business travel requirements for the position.
Select any of the hyperlinked state names above to view all available remote jobs from that respective location within the Virtual Vocations database.
Further Reading: Remote Work and Telecommuting Jobs State Resources
Popular Work-at-Home Communication Tools
QUESTION: If you are currently working from home, what kind of communication tools does your work require on a regular basis?
*Survey respondents were instructed to check all answers that applied to them.
- 53.44% – Email
- 48.77% – Phone calls
- 45.30% – Not currently telecommuting
- 38.34% – Video meetings
- 26.48% – Collaboration tool like Slack, Google Hangouts, etc.
- 25.85% – Online presentations
The 2020 Remote Work Week Survey shows that most respondents use email and phone as their primary communication methods while working from home. Among remote-enabled businesses, employers can improve the effectiveness of virtual team communication and increase staff productivity by following these actionable steps:
- Automate everyday processes where appropriate.
- Schedule daily or weekly check-ins with remote management and teams.
- Integrate collaborative software, time management tools, and project management resources like Slack, Google Hangouts, Weekly10, Basecamp, Less Annoying CRM, and Asana into everyday use.
- Encourage, accept, and utilize feedback from remote staff, which will help build company culture rooted in inclusivity; positive company culture will not only aid in improved communication but also increase employee retention.
- Demonstrate what you want your remote teams to emulate: as a remote-enabled employer, you should work to improve your own writing and verbal communication skills, body language during video conferences, use of collaborative technologies, and communication transparency.
Further Reading: 14 Free and Low-Cost Software Tools for Remote Teams
Remote Work and Caregiving
QUESTION: Are you currently telecommuting for work while acting as a primary caregiver for family members in your home?
- 75.26% – No
- 24.74% – Yes
A quarter of survey respondents were actively working from home while also serving as primary caregivers for children or family members in their homes. While telecommuting while caring for children or family members in-house is not the most common form of remote work, it is an important personal and professional dynamic to acknowledge and understand. These actionable steps for remote workers also serving as daily primary caregivers are suggestions for better integrating work and life.
- Work remotely for a company with paid maternity leave benefits.
- Acknowledge and embrace your parenting needs as well as your professional needs, and do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Accept that every day will not be perfect.
- Prioritize your mental health; after all, we cannot care for others if we first do not care for ourselves.
- Learn how to recognize burnout and develop steps to mitigate it.
Further Reading: Telecommuting and Dependent Care: Work Solutions for Caregivers
Age Ranges of Survey Respondents
QUESTION: What is your age range?
- 33.28% – 45-54
- 29.80% – 55-64
- 18.81% – 35-44
- 8.70% – 65+
- 7.83% – 25-34
- 1.58% – 18-24
Remote workers are predominantly mid-level professionals with decades of professional experience. Our survey underscored this reality in that 71.78% of respondents were at least 45 years of age. These five tips can help experienced professionals maximize their telecommuting prospects.
- Work and travel as a digital nomad, which is a popular remote work style among all generations.
- Learn how to overcome job interview anxiety.
- Brush up on tech terms all remote jobseekers should know.
- Help close professional generational gaps by putting aside assumptions about Millenials and Gen-Zers.
- Be a flexible remote jobseeker in the modern workforce while also pushing the intangibles only members of your generation can provide.
Top Career Fields of Survey Respondents
QUESTION: Which option is closest to your chosen career field?
1. Healthcare (#3) — 12. 49%
2. Information Technology (#1) — 9.80%
3. Administrative — 6.48%
4. Education (#5) — 5.77%
5. Accounting — 4.19%
6. Customer Service (#8) — 4.11%
7. Human Resources — 4.03%
8. Nursing — 3.40%
9. Consulting (#9) & Marketing (#10)* — 3.32%
*Consulting and Marketing tied for the ninth most popular career field among survey respondents.
10. Business Operations — 3.08%
Of the more than 1,265 respondents to this survey question, at least one respondent represented each of the forty-seven career field options provided as answers. All of these career categories can be found in the Virtual Vocations job board. Above, we have highlighted the top 10 job industries respondents said were most similar to their chosen career fields.
Six of the top career fields that most closely match those of the 2020 Remote Work Survey respondents are also the most popular job industries for remote jobs, as outlined in our 2019 Year-End Report. The parenthesized numbers next to the career field names below describe that remote job category’s ranking among the best remote job industries for 2019.
Select any of the hyperlinked career fields to view all available remote jobs from that respective category within the Virtual Vocations database.
Further Reading: 2019 Best Remote Work Industries — Top 20 List
Highest Education Level Among Survey Respondents
QUESTION: What is your education level?
- 37.47% – Bachelor’s Degree
- 26.72% – Master’s Degree
- 26.01% – Some College
- 6.64% – Doctorate
- 3.16% – High School
Nearly all remote workers have at least some college experience, which is an attractive quality to remote-enabled employers. If you would like to improve your educational qualifications before looking for a remote job, start here:
- Take free online courses through education and training resource providers.
- Sign up for email courses, including a course on how to Create a Winning Telecommuting Resume, in the Virtual Vocations Toolkit.
- Update your resume to focus on your accomplishments, skills, training, and even relevant classroom projects.
- Join a professional group or take on a leadership role within a local organization.
- Earn while you learn: use Virtual Vocations search filters to find available remote jobs based on education level.
Further Reading: How to Build a Strong Resume When You Lack Experience or Education
Transitioning Careers for a Home-Based Job
QUESTION: Would you be interested in making a career transition to a new career field if it meant you could work from home permanently?
- 69.41% – Yes
- 26.64% – Maybe
- 3.95% – No
69.41% of respondents were willing to make a career transition if it meant they could work from home permanently. This could indicate a shift in employees’ feelings about job security within traditional on-site roles. While remote jobs are available in practically every major industry, jobseekers ready to make a career transition so they can permanently work remotely should consider the following steps:
- Seek continued education or online skills training to improve reliability.
- Explore virtual volunteering to gain career and remote work advantages.
- Start with a telecommuting side gig.
- Reach out to your network to build business relationships within your desired career field.
- Take advantage of Career Services from Virtual Vocations including resume assessments and writing, cover letter and LinkedIn profile writing, and career coaching.
Further Reading: 7 Ways to Change Careers Without Starting Over
Attitudes Toward Remote Work
QUESTION: Overall, how would you rate your current feelings toward telecommuting?
- 59.60% – I love telecommuting!
- 32.25% – I enjoy working both from home and in the office.
- 5.69% – I’m neutral towards telecommuting.
- 1.90% – I prefer more in-person contact than telecommuting provides.
- 0.55% – I don’t enjoy telecommuting.
While the majority of respondents (59.60%) have strong positive outlooks about telecommuting and only less than 1% view it negatively, there are immediate actions remote workers can take to make working from home a more functional and productive experience.
- Consider work-life integration rather than work-life balance.
- Create a work schedule that includes frequent breaks.
- Over-communicate with your remote manager.
- Become more comfortable with remote technologies and collaborative tools.
- Work when you feel most productive.
Further Reading: 10 Tips to Embrace Remote Work (Even if You Don’t Want To)
2020 Remote Work Week Survey Results Infographic
About Virtual Vocations
Virtual Vocations, Inc. is one of the leading online job boards posting only remote job openings. It is a 100% virtual company with an objective to help jobseekers find high-quality telecommuting job leads safely, easily, and quickly. All remote jobs posted to the Virtual Vocations job board have been reviewed by a minimum of three staff members to ensure the job postings are from reputable companies in a wide range of industries.
During 2019, Virtual Vocations added a record-breaking 301,903 remote job postings to the Virtual Vocations job board and searched 15,252 total companies for remote job openings. Since 2015, the size of the job board has grown by 197%.
In addition to its job board, Virtual Vocations offers a suite of remote job search services including the following:
- Curated Telecommute Companies Database featuring more than 20,000 researched profiles of businesses and organizations known for hiring remote workers.
- Career Services like resume assessments and rewrites, career coaching, cover letter writing, and LinkedIn profile writing.
- Employer Partner Program, which grew by 66% in 2019, for remote-enabled businesses to post vacancies to the Virtual Vocations job board.
Virtual Vocations was co-founded by Laura Spawn, CEO, and Adam Stevenson, CTO.
Contact Information for the 2020 Remote Work Week Survey Results
Inquires about the Virtual Vocations 2020 Remote Work Week Survey Results featuring new telecommute jobseeker data can be made to Michelle Rawlings, Public Relations Specialist, at michelle (at) virtualvocations (dot) com or via phone at 1-800-379-5092 EXT. 703.
Image credits: Kimberly Back
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