The Remote Jobs Index

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What does your dollar buy you when you hire a remote worker compared to an office worker? And what if you hired from abroad? For clarity’s sake, we’ll call it the Remote Jobs Index – a remote work version of the Big Mac Index. We’re going to dig deep into the figures to see if it’s worth your business to hire remote workers.

We’ll take into account common business considerations such as productiveness to cost-to-company. Then, we’ll really see how the figures look for remote workers vs in-office workers.

How Remote staff Compare with USA In-Office staff

Working hours

  • In-Office Workers: Figures from the Bureau of Labors show that an average American works 8.8 hours every day whereas only 2h53 minutes of those are productive!
  • Remote Workers: Figures from CoSo Cloud Solutions, US News, and World Report show that remote workers actually work 6-7 hours more than onsite workers and apply more effort during those hours.


  • In-Office: According to a study from Harvard, 16% of in-office staff say they are distracted by their working environment, in turn, decreasing productivity. Nuisances from loud co-workers to phonecalls lead to $1.8 Trillion in loss of productivity in the US!
  • Remote: A study by Sure Payroll shows that two-thirds of employers when asked said their remote staff is more productive. In addition, they work through vacations, even on sick days, and have shorter breaks from work.


  • In-Office: For staff working on-site, whilst their line managers may be on-site all the time, they aren’t actually available for them, hence a lack of engagement.
  • Remote: Gallup’s State of American Workplace Report shows remote staff gives the highest return on engagement. Despite being out of the office for work, they still meet with their managers and co-workers frequently.

Effective collaboration

  • In-Office: Collaboration overload does exist, and since 2000, such activities have soared by 50%. Yet at the same time only 3-5% of employees, known and willing to help, actually participate in collaborative projects.
  • Remote: As far as collaboration is concerned, Harvard endorses online. For one, digital collaboration allows for different working styles, thus encouraging everyone to contribute, and thus engaging the entire team and returning better

Technical expertise

  • In-Office: Line managers are frequently obliged to replace vacated posts with less-qualified staff, indefinitely or temporarily.
  • Remote: Remote work attracts more qualified staff to work. Retired personnel is giving their expertise more to remote-based posts. Even busy parents, who’d not work for years, are able to continue working remotely, therefore, less disruption for a company.

Technological capabilities

  • In-Office: Digital has transformed work, which has seen some staff having difficulty to stay up to date with the new ways of working.
  • Remote: is dominated by the generation of digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z, so it’s only natural that they dominate with their technical skills. To them, using remote tools, communication and video conferencing and file-sharing come naturally


  • In-Office:That what distinguishes us as humans – the aspects that encourage face-to-face communication – can also hinder clear communication – for example, low confidence. Stereotypes, non-verbal communication, and lack of attention. These all affect office communicating.
  • Remote: Were it not for communication tools, remote work would not thrive. As more communication takes place on platforms, the communication is accountable for, structured quick and easy-to-use.


  • In-Office: The most suitable candidate for a software programmer may not live near the office or in the same town so this potentially incurs additional relocation costs.
  • Remote: Whilst paying less salary for remote working would be tantamount to discrimination, you can open up your job talent pool globally, thereby paying less in wages. For example, a senior java programmer in the US makes on average $137K, in Sweden, $78K, Australia $70K, and Spain $58K.

Cost to company

  • In-Office: From travel expenses through on-the-job benefits to healthcare costs, in-office employees cost more money in overheads.
  • Remote:  can reduce costs in different ways work.. What’s more many indirect savings can be made. FlexJob’s survey discovered that 77% of remote staff are in better health, thereby reducing the cost of healthcare to their employers.

Work-life balance

  • In-Office: The lack of flexibility, missing out on important personal milestones, commuting, being stuck to a chair most of the day – all contribute to stress and the poor health of office workers.
  • Remote: As many studies have agreed, whilst striking the dream work-life balance is complicated to achieve even for remote workers, they have more chance of achieving it whereas fewer opportunities exist for in-office counterparts.

Employee turnover

  • In-Office: By this year, the price of potentially losing 1 in 4 employees will have cost employers $680 Billion by 2020, according to the Retention Report by the Work Institute.
  • Remote: Stanford’s study claims that remote workers are 50% more likely to stay on than their in-office counterparts. Another survey from TINYpulse/Owl Labs states a 25% higher retention rate for remote staff.

So, how many remote workers does your dollar get you compared to in-office workers? From the salary standpoint alone -($137/$70K)—double the numbers. However, that would be to over-simplify since the contribution made by an expert candidate in a varied team does not have a price tag.

But one conclusion is clear from this analysis – remote staff excels over in-office staff at every level. This justifies perfectly why companies are endorsing remote work.