Remote Workforce Report 2023

The Rise of Globally Distributed Teams


What are the real benefits 
of remote work?

More than 1,500 decision makers and employees in North America, Europe, APAC, and Latin America reveal how their companies are preparing for a distributed future.

The conversation is no longer about the benefits of remote work. Instead, it’s about what comes after remote work: distributed teams. And for companies around the world, the shift has already begun.

This report includes data points from leaders and workers across major global markets. If you are a leader, this research contains the information you need to access and retain top talent; realize the cost efficiencies of global hiring; and future-proof your organization against a rapidly shifting economic climate.

Nearly half of businesses report growth in the number of full-time employees they have working outside their home country.

The benefits of remote and distributed teams are not limited to cost savings. Higher levels of productivity, increased retention and employee satisfaction, higher quality applicant pools, and entry into new markets are all inspiring businesses to look beyond their borders.

The era of the remote team is becoming something more

A new era in which distributed and diverse teams drive more value for the companies ambitious enough to build them.

Featuring insights from companies in

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America

This study is the first to look beyond the benefits of remote work and into the distributed future of the new workplace.

Our research reveals how companies in different regions of the world view distributed work —
 and how their motivations for building global teams differ across talent acquisition, cost savings, employee experiences, and other factors.

Companies are already leveraging distributed work to gain a competitive advantage.

Get the critical information you need to stay ahead.

What you’ll get:

  • The most up-to-date information on how companies are handling remote work
  • Which factors are motivating businesses to hire remotely
  • Where companies are finding cost efficiencies with distributed teams
  • How distributed teams build long-term employee productivity, engagement, and retention

Remote is helping organizations understand and plan for the most important shifts in the global talent market.

  • Are remote workers more or less likely to practice “quiet quitting” than their in-office peers?
  • How is remote hiring helping companies increase the diversity of their teams?
  • Which operational challenges are the most significant for companies planning to expand internationally?

Our research 
has the answer

Download the Remote Workforce Report 2023 
to learn more.

On the rise of distributed work

Where and why are companies hiring remotely?


Nearly half of companies are growing across borders


report increases in the number of full-time employees working remotely from another country.

Businesses have realized the advantages of extending remote work beyond their home countries and are reaping the rewards. With so many companies hiring abroad, businesses are beginning to look in nontraditional hubs to find the right talent.


The outlook for all remote work remains strong in 2023


report increases in the number of total full-time employees working remotely.

Whether in-country or beyond, companies say they are increasing the number of remote workers they employ. While our data shows employees have begun to prioritize salary and security over flexibility (a change from 2022), employee demands for remote work options continue to affect the market.


Hiring a distributed team is a long-term investment that pays dividends


of people on distributed teams say retention has increased since adopting the distributed workforce model.

While arguments raged over whether remote work would flourish or flounder, the real story happened within the teams themselves. Employees working within distributed workforces are more likely to stay longer, and companies are adjusting their hiring practices accordingly.


Distributed teams attract better candidates


of decision makers say the number of quality applicants per open role has increased since their company adopted a distributed remote workforce model.

Companies regularly find that hiring in more places not only means increasing application volume but also increasing applicant quality. Better candidates means a better team, and a better team means a stronger business.

How do fully remote teams compared to hybrid remote and in-office teams on productivity, engagement, and retention?

Get the full report to learn more!

How do distributed teams and remote work affect employees?


Productivity and engagement go up


of decision makers in fully remote companies see increases in productivity, with 36% seeing increases in engagement.

Fully remote companies reward great processes and cultures while highlighting the shortfalls of inconsistent ones. Companies that take the plunge and go zero-office see significant boosts to productivity and engagement.


Employees struggle with tools, while decision makers struggle with culture


of employees name technology issues as a challenge on a distributed team, while 29% of decision makers are concerned about maintaining company culture and values.

Traditional tools from an office-only past cause friction for employees, a problem companies are still trying to solve — especially for less tech-savvy workers. Meanwhile, employers see benefits to company culture but experience more challenges to maintain that culture.


Women report having less autonomy regarding where and how they work


of men say they would consider working in a different country than where their company is headquartered compared to just 61% of women.

While this statistic may appear to indicate that men are more open to relocation, that does not tell the whole story. Women and men both report wanting flexibility in their work. However, women are more likely to report using flexibility to care for a family member, suggesting women’s remote work preferences are influenced by more responsibilities at home on average.


Young people see a distributed future, 
but Boomers don’t buy it

Gen Z

expect their companies to become more geographically distributed, while only 18% of Boomers say the same.

While this information may not be surprising, the degree to which Boomers do not believe in the rise of distributed work is significant. In fact, 56% of Boomers expect their companies to become even more local, suggesting pushback against remote work as a whole.

Many people who are pessimistic about remote work are concerned about things like productivity and culture. When they finally go remote and experience it for themselves, the data shows they are likely to see that the challenges they feared are not so bad, and in many cases are positively surprised by the productivity improvements.

Marcelo Lebre

Co-Founder and COO of Remote

Do employees and decision makers agree on the direction of their companies’ workforce plans?

Several findings provide key insights on where opinions diverge

Where are companies saving 
and spending with remote teams?


Most companies are still opening new entities to hire abroad.


of companies with distributed workforces are setting up new entities to hire in new countries.

Most companies continue to move slowly in distributed hiring, opting to open their own entities instead of taking more modern routes like employer of record (EOR) services. While opening an entity makes sense for long-term investments and large teams, most companies are spending more than necessary when hiring internationally.


Businesses are overspending on office space.


of companies with distributed workforces have six offices or more, compared to 19% of one-country remote companies and 18% of office-only, non-remote companies.

Companies may be hiring in new places, but many are stuck in outdated ways of thinking. In the era of remote work, companies do not need to own offices in other countries to hire there. These significant commercial real estate expenses are placing stress on operations and headcount budgets.


Economic pressures have changed employee priorities.


 of in-country remote workers and 59% of distributed remote workers would rather their company cut access to remote work than accept a salary freeze.

This statistic indicates a shift in sentiment from our 2022 Global Benefits Report. Employees now value salary more than flexibility, likely due to increased economic uncertainty around the world.


Headcount costs may increase for distributed teams, but companies say the talent is worth the expense.


of decision makers in remote workforces say headcount costs have increased since adopting a distributed remote workforce model.

While these numbers could reflect increasing salaries or inflation, that would only explain part of the puzzle. The numbers suggest that companies are spending more to hire remotely, but decision makers report that the talent they get by doing so is worth the price of admission.

So many companies believe they have to make a major investment in a new office just to hire one person in another country. That is not the case. Working with an EOR allows companies to be more flexible with their hiring plans. You can hire one person in one country, five people in another, and 10 people in another, all using the same provider and all on the same bill.

Paula Dieli

Vice President of Onboarding and Mobility at Remote

How do you build a distributed team?

These guides can help you plan, build, manage, and pay your distributed workforce.

How do the expenses and savings of distributed teams balance?

Download the full report to see for yourself!

About the study

Remote conducted a survey from November 8-29, 2022 of 1,500+ HR and business decision makers and employees (including contractors) in four regions:

  • North America includes those in the US and Canada. We surveyed 132 decision makers and 137 employees here.  
  • Europe includes 112 decision makers and 137 employees in Germany, Austria, UK, France, and the Netherlands.
  • APAC includes those in Australia, Singapore, India, and New Zealand. We surveyed 124 decision makers and 115 employees here.
  • Latin America includes those in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Here we heard from 127 decision makers and 120 employees.

Overall, we surveyed 495 decision makers and 509 employees around the world.
This study includes three main groups based on working location: 

work force

A company with employees working only in the office and only in one country (n=265). 

remote workforce

A company with employees working fully remote or hybrid in one country (n=381).

Distributed international remote workforce

A company with employees who work remotely in more than one country (n=358).

We also placed quotas on company size and employee titles. To supplement our panel sample, we conducted a snowball sample using Remote-owned channels (n=577).

See how Remote makes global employment easy