September 4, 2018

2017 Remote Collaboration Survey Results

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Remote work is becoming increasingly mainstream. Whether you're remote all the time, have flexible in-office policies, or collaborate with teammates who work remotely, chances are high that this trend affects you.

We set out to find out just how frequent remote work is, who's engaged in it, and how people feel about it.

We wanted to know:

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...and here’s what we learned about remote work trends in 2017*:

  • 99% of participants are engaged in remote work at some point.
  • Mixed teams continue to be the most common set-up.
  • A combination of Slack, WebEx, Zoom, Box, and Google Drive was the preferred tool suite.

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  • 75% say that working remotely gives them better work-life balance & flexibility.
  • That probably contributes to the overwhelming response that the biggest benefit to remote work for companies is employee satisfaction.
  • The greatest frustration continues to be the lack of a face-to-face interaction.

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  • 50% say there's no change in the quality of their work when they're remote (and 30% said it actually increased their work's quality).
  • 40% see no change in the difficulty of producing new ideas when working remotely (18% find it easier or much easier).
  • Creativity is at least somewhat important to 99% of respondents' jobs.

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Suffice it to say, we can expect the remote work trend to be around for awhile. Getting the same or better results no matter where you're working, plus the added benefit of job flexibility and balance, certainly makes remote work attractive for the workers themselves. Add in the amount of tools available to help teams accomplish their goals while saving money on travel costs, and that benefits organizations at large.

It's no longer just designers and developers working remotely, either; we're seeing an increase in remote work across management, operations, customer experience, and more. Hopefully there will be some solutions that emerge to help these diverse remote workers feel more social and like their effective communication won't suffer.


Bitten by the remote work bug? We've got a few things to help you get started. We ran a train-the-trainer master class on facilitating remote workshops, plus recently hosted a few webinars on running remote design sprints. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to

Finally, you can check out our results from last year, and see how they compare.

Mary Halling

Mary is the Community Manager at MURAL. She's passionate about building relationships with people, especially if coffee and good food are involved. Only introduced to Design Thinking once starting at MURAL, she quickly bought in and believes human-centered design can be leveraged to affect positive change in the world.

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