Home is the new office: Top 5 remote work trends to watch in 2024

Remote work in 2023 trends cover

In 2024, while remote work may have slightly decreased in prevalence compared to the peak of the pandemic, it remains a significant part of the new normal for a substantial portion of global workers. The pandemic served as a catalyst, challenging the traditional office culture and proving that productivity can thrive outside physical offices.

Yet, what are the emerging remote and hybrid work trends in 2024? Let's explore some of the key developments to watch:

  1. Increased focus on cybersecurity

  2. Hybrid work is becoming the norm

  3. The rise of digital nomads

  4. The importance of employee well-being

  5. The use of virtual reality in remote work

Remote and hybrid work trends are dynamic, and companies must stay up-to-date to remain competitive. Based on the Global Remote Work Index (GRWI), remote employees value the flexibility to work from anywhere, whether it be in top-ranked countries for remote work, such as Germany, Denmark, or the US, or other locations that suit their lifestyles.

On the other hand, management often emphasizes the importance of an organizational environment and team bonding, which they believe is best achieved through physical presence in the office.

Therefore, it seems that the trend towards remote and hybrid work is here to stay, with both sides finding ways to make it work for them.

How new is the ‘new normal’ of remote work?

It would be incorrect to say that remote work didn’t exist before 2020. Freelancers pioneered working online—an adventurous and free-spirited career path. According to Owl Labs' 2023 report, before the pandemic, 2,9% of ‘teleworkers’ globally worked remotely full-time, while 61% worked on-site only.

The scope of work from home mainly spiked because of a safety measure to prevent virus spread. Even after the initial alertness and work-life balance adjustments, in 2022, 22% of workers continued working remotely full-time, and 17% adopted a hybrid model, indicating a lasting shift.

Gallup research supports this, showing that in the US, 8 out of 10 employees now favor remote or hybrid work arrangements, with only 2 out of 10 returning to fully on-site jobs.

Working type models distribution chart

The discussion mainly circles whether employees want to work exclusively remotely (49%) or prefer to share their time between home and the office (46%). Yet the same research reveals that only 6% of employees see the ideal work environment exclusively on-site.

Remote work tendency: has it peaked?

The swing in the longevity of time spent at home before and after the pandemic compares drastically. Let’s fact-check.

The contrast between pre-and post-pandemic work patterns is stark. Pre-2020, remote work in the US occurred occasionally, 1-2 times per week according to Statista. Post-pandemic, however, longer remote work stretches became common, with 3-4 and even 5+ days per week of working from home.

Talking numbers, the remote workforce expanded, reaching 53%, while the pool of employees who had never worked remotely shrank by 13% post-COVID-19. The data of the US-based respondents reflects the increasing trend of staying at home rather than working from the office.

REMOTE WORK TRENDS CHANGE changes in the usa

The years following the pandemic's onset, 2020 and 2021, saw a rapid rise in remote work. From 2018-2021, the number of fully remote workers quadrupled, indicating an accelerated shift.

How has remote work escalated in Europe? The growing tendency of remote work in European countries is also significant. 

How has remote work fared in Europe?

Eurostat data from 2019-2021 showcases a similar trajectory—the increasing number of employed people spending more and more time working from home. The average of EU Member States climbed from:

  • 14,6% WFH sometimes or usually* in 2019, 

  • 20,9% WFH sometimes or usually in 2020 to

  • 24,4% WFH sometimes or usually in 2021. 

Note that ’usually’ refers to at least half of the work days spent working from home in a reference period of 4 weeks.

More recent data by Deloitte suggest that in 2022, 38% of European respondents worked from home exclusively, and 39% worked in a hybrid model, resulting in a total of 77% adopting some form of remote work.

Therefore, in 2023, Owl Labs' report found that in the first quarter of 2023, 22% of European employees worked remotely full-time, and 17% worked in a hybrid model. This slight decrease suggests a potential shift back towards on-site work preferences compared to the pandemic's peak.


The shift towards remote and hybrid work styles is evident across both the US and Europe, with remoters embracing flexibility and organizations adapting their practices to accommodate these new ways of functioning.

Let’s not forget that the COVID-era introduced a new work-life cultural concept, ‘workation,’ that combines working remotely and vacationing simultaneously. Therefore, it’s challenging to believe that trend swing will take the working world back to the close-to-none remote setup.

Remote work perspective

It’s worth defining the happy medium for understanding a remote work setting. There are different opinions—for some, it’s home-only; for others—home-never. Hybrid remote work setups have gained wide acceptance, with organizations and employees embracing the flexibility it offer.

While the AT&T findings from 2021 predicted an increase in the hybrid model (from 42% in 2021 to 81% in 2024), recent reports from Owl Labs and McKinsey suggest a stabilization or slight decrease in remote work, with a notable portion of the workforce still favoring hybrid or remote options. The forecast for remote work in the US by 2025 remains substantial, with almost one in four Americans expected to work remotely.

Hybrid work model growth

The projected growth of the conferencing software (like Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet) market, estimated to reach $27.3 billion by 2026, underscores the enduring need for remote collaboration tools.

Moreover, the Global Remote Work Index reveals insightful trends in remote work preferences and patterns. The index highlights the importance employees place on flexibility, with many valuing the option to work from anywhere, whether it's their home country or a location of their choice, as long as they deliver on their tasks.

The GRWI also underscores the enduring nature of remote and hybrid work, indicating that these work styles are likely to persist and evolve, shaping the future of how we work and collaborate.

Hybrid work influencing factors

What are the influencing factors for hybrid work escalations—is it just the peer pressure of employees? 83% of professionals say they would decline a job offer without offering flexible work options, according to International Working Group.

Expectations are high as almost everyone (97%) expects organizations to be flexible regarding the work environment. FlexJob indicates that more than half (57%) of organization members would change jobs if they weren’t allowed to work in a hybrid workplace. After all, 77% of employees see flexibility as the second most important factor after salary in their employment.

Employees perspective on hybrid work

The reasoning behind it can be based on preference to save time on commuting, make Mondays less anxious without knowing you must show up in the office at 8 AM, or work from a different city or country.  

Productivity & engagement in remote work

Hybrid or remote work helps achieve a better work-life balance that resolves into a positive chain reaction. Employees and organizations notice that staff is exposed to less stress, making workers more present and engaged despite online environments.


It proves that hybrid work isn’t entirely a one-way road. At first, being unavailable to observe remote employees’ activity on-site might have needed convincing the management of the hybrid work benefits. 

According to Zippia’s Remote Work Statistics report, 32.2% of managers agree that productivity has increased after the 2020 remote work shift. Generally, 68% of organizations say there’s been an improvement in employee productivity since the remote work arrangements. 

Return or not to return?

Employees have spoken, and remote work flexibility is here to stay. Beyond the well-known benefits, 20% of the workforce values flexibility so much that they would give up vacation time to maintain it, as per Deloitte's 2023 report.

The financial advantages of remote work are significant—a typical organization saves an average of $11,000 per employee yearly if the employee spends half of the working time outside the office.

Remote work for what its worth

Saving funds and time opens more personal, team, and company opportunities. Organizations have a better chance to scale globally. It brings us to a solution to a raging issue of limited talent pool companies struggle with significantly.

Talent and remote work

Knowledge workers are in high demand to cover the growing need for professionals in all industries. According to Uplers' research, 69% of companies face a shortage of skilled talent, and geographic limitations are one of the leading factors reserving the reach of the potential talent pool.

Solution to Talent shortage

According to the Upwork study, companies with remote or hybrid work policies appear to be less negatively impacted by talent shortage—only every third of such organizations see a limited talent pool as a challenge. Half of the knowledge workers who provide computer programming, IT, marketing, and business consulting services to companies are freelancers.

Regarding company size, large companies tend to have a higher demand for talent that turns over with more noticeable talent shortages if compared to small or medium-sized companies. 

According to Manpower data, 76% of small companies (10-49 employees) struggle to find the right profile workers, while 76% of medium-sized companies (50-249 employees) and 77% of large enterprises (1000+ employees) are impacted by a deficiency of skilled professionals.

Remote work by industry

Technological advancements and flexibility allow companies of various industries to adopt hybrid work for its benefit. It’s noticeable that consulting-type services are quicker to move to digital communication and telecommuting. 

The trend can be justified by the opportunities to unlock markets worldwide, streamline the workload, and better prepare for modern technological setups.

Top industries to adopt remote work

Taking hybrid work trends through the industry axis, IT is the leading industry to adopt remote work. Finance, customer service, healthcare, marketing, education, and sales industries are primary areas in which to explore and utilize the benefits of the remote workforce.

In 2024, working remotely continues to be a dominant trend in the global workforce, with new developments and innovations shaping how we work remotely. Here are the top 5 remote work trends to watch out for this year.

Trend 1: Increased focus on cybersecurity

With the rise of remote work, cybersecurity has become a top priority for organizations due to skyrocketing malicious activities. In the current year, we can expect to see an increased focus on cybersecurity measures to protect the remote workforce and their data.

According to our cybersecurity trends report for 2024, companies will invest more in security awareness training, zero-trust architecture, and secure access service edge (SASE) to protect remote workers and their data.

Trend 2: Hybrid work becoming the norm

While remote work was the go-to option during the pandemic, hybrid work is now the preferred option for many. According to Forbes Advisor, 98% of workers favor remote work at least some of the time in 2024. Currently, 12.7% of the full-time workforce operates from home, and 28.2% have adopted a mixed model. Companies are embracing hybrid setups to accommodate these preferences.

At the same time, a substantial proportion of employees—about 28.2%—have transitioned to a mixed work model combining both office and remote work. As a result, we can expect to see more companies adopting a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from home and the office.

Trend 3: The rise of digital nomads

As remote work gains popularity, we can anticipate a corresponding increase in digital nomads—people who work remotely while traveling the world. That's most probably what the future of remote work will look like. According to a recent report by MBO Partners, in 2023, there were 17.3 million digital nomads in the US alone, which is expected to grow in the coming years.

Moreover, in 2022, half of the enterprises in the European Union with a workforce of 10 or more employees or self-employed individuals conducted online meetings.

For example, Sweden and Finland led the way with the highest percentages, at 79.4% and 78.5% respectively, followed closely by Denmark at 78.0%. Malta and Ireland also had notable shares, with 68.3% and 63.6% respectively.

This data indicates that employees can choose to work remotely and still fully perform their job responsibilities or contribute to their team's objectives.

Trend 4: The importance of employee well-being

As remote work becomes more prevalent, companies are starting to realize the importance of employee well-being. According to a 2023 recent survey by Buffer, 95% of remote workers say that having a flexible schedule is important for a healthy work-life balance.

In response to this, we can expect to see changes in company culture by more businesses prioritizing employee well-being in 2024. This will not only include traditional benefits such as mental health days and flexible schedules but also the introduction of comprehensive wellness programs. The latter may encompass various aspects, such as physical health initiatives, stress management workshops, and mindfulness training.

Moreover, companies are likely to invest in digital tools and platforms that facilitate remote work while also promoting work-life balance. This could include ergonomic furniture for home offices, virtual mental health services, and software that encourages regular breaks and limits overwork.

Trend 5: The use of virtual reality in remote work

As remote work continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative technologies being used to improve the remote work experience. One such technology is virtual reality (VR), which can create virtual offices and meeting spaces for remote employees.

According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the VR market is expected to grow to $44.7 billion by 2024, with remote work being one of the key drivers of this growth.

Safeguarding remote work challenges

Remote and hybrid work models have brought about new security challenges for companies. In 2022, we saw a significant increase in data breaches, with many high-profile companies falling victim to cyber-attacks. According to a report by NordLayer, data breaches increased by 21% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

The massive migration to remote work during the pandemic was kick-started for safety reasons. However, home offices and remote work security opened gaps for cybersecurity vulnerabilities that many companies weren’t exposed to before.


One of the main challenges of remote work is securing company data and preventing unauthorized access. With employees accessing company data from various locations and devices, it can be difficult to ensure that all data is secure.

Statista ranks cyberattacks as one of the major risks for organizations. Cyber threats indeed increased exponentially with the growing number of unprotected home networks and distributed teams. Additionally, phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering have become more prevalent, making it even more important for companies to invest in advanced security measures.

The other top risks on the list include human error, cloud computing vulnerabilities, mobile device security, and loss of corporate data and information, which concerns organizations in Europe and the US.

To address these challenges, companies must implement a comprehensive security strategy and a remote work policy that includes employee training, advanced security tools, and regular security audits. By taking a proactive approach to security, companies can safeguard their remote employees and sensitive data, ensuring the success of their remote and hybrid work models.

Securing hybrid environments

Many organizations proved to be flexible in times of change—growing cyberattacks and risks were repulsed with security, a hybrid workforce, and work-adapted business solutions. Transitioning to cloud environments allows companies not only to enable remote workers but also to implement hybrid workforce and infrastructure models to support new ways of working.

Circumstances determined businesses’ push to improve network security even though upgrading existing legacy architectures wasn’t part of the strategy. As with the increase in remote work environments, there has also been a rise in data breaches, with a 33% increase reported by NordLayer in 2023. This highlights the need for robust cybersecurity measures in remote work environments.

During the later years, evolved Zero Trust security models have now defined modern remote access and cybersecurity standards. Combining cloud application monitoring software and security, call monitoring software endpoint protection, and identity management solutions helps protect company assets and users effectively from potential vulnerabilities imposed by remote and hybrid work.

In conclusion, remote and hybrid work trends are here to stay, and companies must adapt to these changes to remain competitive. The focus on cybersecurity, the rise of digital nomads, the importance of employee well-being, and the use of virtual reality in remote work are just a few trends that organizations should consider when implementing remote and hybrid work models.

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