Half of global knowledge workers will be remote by the end of 2021



Knowledge workers are defined as those who "think for a living" ie programmers, physicians, pharmacists, architects, engineers, scientists, design thinkers, public accountants, lawyers, editors, and academics.

Gartner also estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021. This is up from 17% of employees in 2019. Gartner defines knowledge workers are those who are involved in knowledge-intensive occupations, such as writers, accountants, or engineers. Gartner defines a remote worker as an employee working away from their company, government, or customer site at least one full day a week (hybrid workers) or who work fully from home (fully remote workers).

“A hybrid workforce is the future of the work, with both remote and on-site part of the same solution to optimize employers’ workforce needs,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner.

Remote working varies considerably around the world depending on IT adoption, culture, and mix of industries. In 2022, 31% of all workers worldwide will be remote (a mix of hybrid and fully remote). The U.S. will lead in terms of remote workers in 2022, accounting for 53% of the U.S. workforce. Across Europe, U.K. remote workers will represent 52% of its workforce in 2022, while remote workers in Germany and France will account for 37% and 33%, respectively.

India and China will produce some of the largest numbers of remote workers, but their overall penetration rates will remain relatively low with 30% of workers in India being remote and 28% of workers in China working remote.

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