The Ultimate List of Remote Work Statistics - 2021 Edition

The Ultimate List of Remote Work Statistics - 2021 Edition
ByDragomir Simovic
June 11,2021

Remote work is quickly becoming one of the most desirable benefits an employer can offer. The freedom to work wherever you want with more flexible hours is great motivation for people who can’t stand the monotony and sterility of office life. Indeed, many workers are willing to forego vacations, pay rises, and even retirement plans for the chance to work remotely. 

We’ve made this list of the most interesting remote work statistics to examine just how popular this phenomenon has become. Our aim is to help both employers and employees create the best and most productive work environment possible.

We’ve used reliable sources to answer the following questions:

- How has the popularity of remote work changed in recent years?

- What are remote work trends in 2021?

- How many companies offer work flexibility, and how flexible is this in reality?

- How many people work from home?

- Who is the average remote worker?

- What are the benefits and challenges of remote work?

- What can we expect in the future?

Key Remote Work Statistics

  • 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule.
  • 16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers.
  • Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover those that don’t.
  • 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.
  • People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive.
  • The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005.
  • 4.3 million people in the USA work from home at least half the time.

General Remote Work Stats

Around the world, 44% of companies don’t allow remote work at all.

(Owl Labs)

Despite the fact that more and more people are seeing the benefits of having flexible working conditions, almost half of companies around the world still don’t allow remote work. Of course, we should keep in mind that just because companies say they allow remote work doesn’t mean they actually follow through with it. In practical terms, this figure could be even higher.

4.3 million people in the USA work from home at least half the time.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

According to telecommuting statistics 2018, there are 4.3 million remote workers in the USA, which makes up 3.2% of the entire workforce. The same report says that 40% more US companies offered remote work as an option in 2018 than they did 5 years ago. This is a clear indicator of the global trends and employers simply can’t ignore it.

The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005.

(Global Workplace Analytics)

In the past decade, technology has become so advanced that pretty much anyone can fulfil their everyday tasks at home. Stats on working from home show that this type of work has expanded 10 times faster than other areas of the workforce. The same stats also tell us that full-time employees are four times more likely to be offered remote work than part-timers.

Small companies are twice as likely to hire full-time remote workers.

(Owl Labs)

Stats on people working from home show that small companies are more likely to opt for full-time remote workers. There’s a reason for this: Remote workers cost less because companies don’t have to invest in office space, pay electricity bills, or buy as much equipment. Sales employers hire 66% more remote workers than the overall average.

Telecommuting has grown 115% in the past decade.

(State of Telecommuting)

According to these stats, growth in telecommuting has taken place 10 times faster than in other fields of work. Based on that, we can conclude that the remote work is getting more popular by the year. There’s little doubt these work from home trends will continue in the future.

16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers.

(Owl Labs)

Although 44% of global companies don’t allow remote work, 16% of them are actually 100% remote companies. Unsurprisingly, hybrid companies that employ both in-office and remote workers are more popular; this potentially provides the perfect balance for employers.

By 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers.

(Upwork)

In light of what we’ve just mentioned regarding millennials and their professional goals, Upwork gives us some important future remote work statistics. Today, millennials and Gen Z workers make up only 38% of the workforce, but in 2028, they’ll amount to 58%. Because of that, it’s no wonder that almost three-quarters of companies will employ some remote workers, while 33% of workers will be fully remote.

Globally, 52% of workers work from home at least once every week.

(Owl Labs)

Based on remote workers statistics from 2018, more than half of the world’s employees already enjoy the benefits of the flexible workplace and it’s unlikely that this number will decrease anytime soon. In fact, the same report from 2017 - which focused only the USA - came up with the same number. Is this yet another case of the world trying to keep up with America?

18% of people work remotely full-time.

(Owl Labs)

Some other figures show that 34% of them work a day or more per week and 16% just once a month. On the other hand, 32% of respondents never work remotely, either because they can’t or don’t want to. Statistics on remote work also show a slight difference between the sexes, with men being 8% more likely to work remotely than women.

Benefits of Remote Work

75% of people who work remotely do so because there are fewer distractions.

(FlexJobs)

Remote work statistics from 2018 show that the majority of people feel there are fewer distractions when working out of the office. Coworkers are obviously a big part of these distractions; 74% of respondents said they work remotely to get away from colleague interruptions. Even when they’re not actively interrupting, they contribute to the overall office noise, which annoys 60% of survey respondents.

76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.

(FlexJobs)

As we’ve already mentioned, 44% of companies still don’t allow remote work, even though it obviously has positive effects on employee morale and work engagement. In fact, according to these remote working statistics, a whopping 97% of respondents would love to have a flexible working plan in the long run. This is certainly something companies should consider in their proposals.

86% of people feel that working remotely reduces stress.

(FlexJobs)

Seeing as stress is one of the biggest killers in the modern world, finding ways to reduce it should be a priority for all workers. The majority of respondents to this survey believe working away from the traditional office actually helps that cause. In that same way, 77% of people believe remote work improves general health because it allows for a better diet, more exercise, and a generally healthier lifestyle.

Statistics about remote work show that 21% of workers would give up some of their vacation time to get flexible working options.

(FlexJobs)

The possibility of having a flexible working environment is so tempting that more than one-fifth of all respondents would gladly give up their vacations to obtain it. Interestingly, 28% of people would even accept a 10-20% pay cut if it allowed them to work remotely. For 20%, even employer-matched retirement contributions aren’t as valuable as flexible working.

69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space.

(CBRE)

According to remote work statistics from 2017, millennials appreciate a flexible working environment more than other generations. Some estimates suggest that by 2020, millennials will make up about half of the entire workforce. Because of that, companies that want to keep their employees happy will have to think about flexibility as one of their most important benefits.

Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.

(Owl Labs)

According to data from Owl Labs’ 2017 State of Remote Work report, companies that support remote work lost 9% of their employees, compared to 12% in companies that don’t. This may seem like a small difference right now but it’s a clear indicator of the correlation between these two factors. As more and more companies begin to offer remote work as an option, employee satisfaction and loyalty will increase.

40% of people feel that the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule.

(Buffer)

Brand new remote work statistics from 2019 show that people also enjoy the fact they can work from any location they want (30%), spend some quality time with their family (14%), or work from the comfort of their own home (13%). Remote work allows for a better work-life balance and greater employee satisfaction.

44% of remote workers who have unlimited vacation options only take two or three weeks off per year.

(Buffer)

Even when their companies offer unlimited vacation options, nearly half of all remote workers actually opt for just two or three weeks of vacation a year. Besides that, 10% settle only for one week, while 5% are okay with less than that. Another 5% don’t take any vacation time at all. This is one reason why remote worker productivity is usually higher than average.

Half-time telecommuters save 11 days a year by not traveling to work.

(State of Telecommuting)

People who only do 50% of their work remotely save an average of 11 days per year in travel time alone. Instead of being stuck in traffic, they can use this time productively around the house. This, in turn, reduces stress and has a positive effect on workers’ general health.

Telecommuters have an average annual income that’s $4,000 higher than other workers.

(State of Telecommuting)

These telecommuting statistics from 2017 could be explained by the fact that employees usually need to earn their right to work remotely. Given that, we’d expect them to be more experienced and, therefore, have a higher salary. This is a great benefit of remote work in general and might inspire others to strive towards a flexible future.

Telecommuting in 2015 saved employers $44 billion in total.

(State of Telecommuting)

Another piece of information that might help employees argue for their right to work from home is the fact that it’s beneficial for employers, too. In 2015, companies managed to save $44 billion by letting their employees work remotely. According to these working from home statistics, each employer saves an average of $11,000 per year. That’s because they didn’t have to provide a working space, or incur other costs like commuting, hardware, or electricity and internet bills.

Telecommuters right now reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to 600,000 cars.

(State of Telecommuting)

It turns out that remote work isn’t only beneficial for employees and their employers, but also for the environment. Work from home employees don’t commute every day, which dramatically reduces the amount of pollution they’re responsible for. If we were to include workers who would like to telecommute but can’t right now, we would have an annual reduction in harmful gases equal to the amount produced by 10 million cars.

People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive.

(Owl Labs)

Apparently, all it takes for workers to be happy and productive is to work remotely just one day a month. Overall, 35% of respondents feel that remote work offers more opportunities for quality employment. In the same vein, based on the working from home stats we’ve seen so far, we could say that quality employers are also more likely to offer remote work options.

Remote Work Problems

The biggest problem for 22% of remote workers is unplugging after work.

(Buffer)

The flexibility of remote work sometimes makes it difficult to shut off from work and make use of free time. At least, that’s the case for 22% of remote workers. According to these work from home statistics, another major issue is loneliness. In fact, that’s the biggest problem for 19% of employees. Besides that, 17% of remote works believe that this type of work does not allow normal communication and collaboration with coworkers.

86% of workers prefer to work alone to achieve maximum productivity.

(SurePayroll)

Although loneliness during remote work is one of the biggest problems for 19% of workers, 86% of them actually enjoy working alone. That is simply because it improves their working from home productivity and helps them achieve their maximum. For 61% of respondents, loud colleagues are a major distraction in the office, while 40% really dislike impromptu meetings.

74% of workers would quit their job if offered more flexible options elsewhere.

(Softchoice)

The option of working from home once in a while is such great motivation for 74% of workers that they would gladly leave their current jobs to obtain it. This is one of the reasons why companies that don’t support it have higher turnover rates than those that do. These remote work from home statistics also show that 85% of workers want their employer to provide them with the technology they need to work remotely.

51% of employers officially allow their employees to work from home.

(Softchoice)

The key word here is “officially,” because out of that number, only 27% follow through with it. Amazingly, 73% of companies still expect their employees to come to work in the office. This is one of the reasons why most of these telecommuting stats should be taken with a grain of salt. Just because companies say they support something, it doesn’t mean they actually do.

Individual contributors are 20% more likely than average to work remotely.

(Owl Labs)

Remote work is often solitary by definition, so it’s most appealing to people who can work by themselves, like individual contributors. In the same report from the year before, individual contributors were twice as likely to be remote than managers were. That said, this telecommuting statistics 2018 report also states that individual contributors are the least likely to work remotely. So, we can conclude that individual contributors either be fully remote, or they don’t work remotely at all.

Fully remote workers are only 30% engaged in their work, which is the same as people who have never worked remotely.

(Gallup)

Interestingly, there seems to be some sort of middle ground with remote work and employee engagement. According to research, people who have never worked remotely and those who work remotely 100% of the time have the same level of engagement. In fact, telecommuting statistics from 2016 show us that people who work remote 60-80% of the time have the highest work engagement: 41%.

Brainstorming is the most challenging type of meeting when it comes to remote work.

(Owl Labs)

This makes sense, because brainstorming is all about speed, wit, and bouncing ideas around the room. According to these stats, strategic planning meetings come second, followed by all-hands and collaborative meetings. The least problematic are one-on-ones and stand-up meetings.

78% of people who have college degrees would prefer flexible time.

(FlexJobs)

This remote work survey confirms that a large number of people who work to acquire higher education do so hoping it will provide them with more flexibility in their work. Interestingly, 32% of respondents who said that they would love to have a flexible schedule are already at a managerial level or higher.

Working from Home Stats

For 77% of future employees, the possibility of working from home one day a week is a great incentive.

(AfterCollege)

Offering just one day of remote work per week is a strong working incentive for 77% of people who aren’t yet engaged in the workplace. The next most-popular benefit is free snacks and drinks, which 70% of potential employees find attractive. Casual dress code is a motivator for 68% of people, while social activities appeal to 67%. Oddly enough, these remote work stats reveal that 14% of responders actually consider it a plus if the company doesn’t allow access to social media.

84% of remote workers prefer working remotely from home.

(Buffer)

Work flexibility means that these employees are free to work from anywhere they want, yet most choose their homes as the optimal location. Far behind in second place on the list are coworking spaces, where only 8% of remote workers choose to work. Another 4% of workers visit coffee shops and cafes, while only 0.5% go to libraries. This is why a lot of people consider remote work to be synonymous with working from home.

75% of remote workers say their company doesn’t pay for their home internet.

(Buffer)

Remote work statistics also show us that remote work comes with some additional expenses people don’t usually think about. Three-quarters of remote workers have to pay for their own internet expenses because the company doesn’t cover it. On the other hand, 18% of employees are lucky enough that their company covers this expense in full, while 7% say the company covers this cost partially.

Data from 2018 shows that 65% of people think they work best at home.

(FlexJobs)

On the other hand, these working from home statistics from 2018 show that only 3% of respondents feel they are actually less productive at home, while 32% don’t notice any significant difference. Besides that, 49% of people surveyed say that they prefer to work from home when they really need something to be done. Their second choice is the office (26%), but only when working at home isn’t really an option in their company.

Frequently Asked Questions
Does working remotely work?

Considering the increasing number of remote workers in the world and the huge number of benefits for both the employer and the employees, it’s safe to say that, yes, working remotely works.

Are remote workers paid less?

No, they are not paid less. In fact, according to statistics, remote workers earn around $4,000 more annually than regular employees.

Are remote workers happier?

Work from home productivity stats from 2018 show that people who work remotely at least once a month are actually 24% more likely to be both happy and productive.

How can I be productive when working from home?

As numerous remote work isolation statistics tell us, working alone can have a negative impact on both productivity and the overall health of the worker. So, instead of working from home, you could opt for a casual coworking space that offers all the best aspects of office work but eliminates the in-office tension that may exist in a company. Some other ideas that might help you be more productive include using time-tracking software and blocking access to social media,

What percentage of jobs are remote?

Remote work statistics tell us that 18% of people work remotely full-time. More than 4.3 million people in the USA work remotely, which is 3.2% of the entire workforce. Around 16% of companies hire only full-time remote workers, but 44% of them still don’t allow remote work at all.

Sources

About the author

Dragomir Simovic is a staff writer for SmallBizGenius, where he regularly contributes well-researched, engaging content about the latest trends in the finance industry. As a successful entrepreneur and freelancer himself, he knows the ins and outs of running a small business and is eager to share his insights. When he’s not analyzing the latest finance news or thinking up startup strategies, Dragomir likes to play the guitar, discover new indie games, and sample craft brews – responsibly, of course.

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Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.  91% of consumers would like to see interactive content in marketing emails. (Hubspot) A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.  An average of 18 calls is needed to connect with buyers. (Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021
Victimless crimes without bloody traces, fingerprints, or mysteries worthy of Hercule Poirots’ insights and findings don’t shake the public too much. People don’t usually expect white-collar office workers with their noses buried into piles of papers to keep dark secrets. Despite that, white-collar crime statistics show the seriousness of this problem, which can have devastating consequences on businesses and enterprises.  Money laundering, embezzlement, financial statement frauds, check or payment tampering are among the most common crimes committed by white-collar workers. We compiled data regarding those felonies to help you learn more about white-collar corporate crimes.  White-Collar Crime Stats: Editor’s Choice Only 28% of white-collar employees involved in corporate crimes are women. A typical white-collar felon is a married male in his forties.   White-collar crimes cost the United States over $300 billion per year. Only 6.1% of corporate criminals come from an unhealthy family background. Only 9% of frauds happen in nonprofit organizations. Corruption accounts for 43% of white-collar crimes and causes a median loss of $200,000 per case.  The maximum prison sentence for insider trading in the US is 20 years. White-Collar Crime Demographics: Who Commits the Crimes? Only 28% of white-collar employees involved in corporate crimes are women. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) If there has ever been a need to draw a forensic sketch of a typical corporate criminal for identification purposes, it very likely wouldn’t be a woman. Detailed research into the demographics of white-collar criminals showed that women are very rare corporate crime offenders, accounting for only 27% of committed frauds. The fact that a vast majority are men is understandable given the disproportion of females in higher management positions at corporations. Corporate crime statistics reveal that a typical white-collar felon is a married male in his forties. (Bajoka) (University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice) The typical white-collar criminal doesn’t look any different than the co-workers you sip your morning coffee with. He is likely in his mid-forties, though some start earlier. He doesn’t have a criminal record and hasn’t committed any criminal acts until his late 30s. Most of them boast at least a Bachelor’s degree and belong to the professions not so often associated with illegal activities: lawyers, financial advisors, accountants, and clergy members. Some companies use employee tracking software to get a better insight into their workforce, but these felons are usually in positions of power, where they don’t get tracked or at least know how to circumvent it.  Statistics of white-collar crime in the US show 35.3% of felons have more than $10,000 in assets. (University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice) As we can see from the statistics gathered in the research commissioned by The University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice, over a third of white-collar criminals are well-established in the society, with more than $10,000 in assets. 63.5% have residential stability, and out of that number, 50.3% are homeowners. They are usually highly ranked in their companies, often at managerial positions, and 65.8% of them have steady employment.  White-collar crime racial statistics reveal 73.9% of offenders are white. (University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice) Social and other prejudices often take over the minds of people when they think of criminal activities. Corporate crime is a different beast, though.  Nearly three-quarters of white-collar offenders are white people coming from middle-class or better backgrounds. Notably, income tax frauds are overwhelmingly white-male driven crimes, with 91.4% of perpetrators being male and 89.1% white. Only 6.1% of corporate criminals come from an unhealthy family background. (University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice) When we speak or think about thefts, kidnapping, rape, or murders, we often envision the perpetrators coming from tough financial conditions and unhealthy family backgrounds. Statistics on white-collar crime indicate some often overlooked facts regarding the families the felons come from. Namely, only 6.1% of them were raised in families where they were abused, neglected, or abandoned as children. Only 6% grew up with at least one family member involved in criminal activities, and 15% had parents who struggled to provide the necessities of life. Common Types of White-Collar Crimes Asset misappropriation schemes account for 86% of frauds and cause a median loss of $100,000 per case. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) Now that we know who commits white-collar crimes and the statistics behind them, we can determine the most common types of these crimes. According to the data gathered in the Report to the Nations global study on occupational fraud and abuse, the most frequent fraud scheme is asset misappropriation. This felony accounts for 86% of all white-collar crimes, but, luckily, it’s the least costly type with a median loss of $100,000 per case. Asset misappropriation happens when an employee misuses or steals the company’s resources and thus defrauds their employers.  Financial statement frauds are the most costly type of white-collar crime, with a median loss of $954,000. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) Luckily, white-collar crime statistics indicate that financial statement fraud schemes are the least common type of corporate fraud, accounting for only 10% of the cases. So what are financial statement frauds? They involve schemes in which the offender intentionally omits or misstatements the material in the company’s financial statements. Corruption accounts for 43% of cases and causes a median loss of $200,000 per case. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) Corruption takes up an expectedly high proportion of occupational frauds. Offenses such as bribery, extortion, conflicts of interest, bid-rigging, and other illegal activities cause losses of around $200,000 per case. One of the more alarming facts about white-collar crime is that corruption cases often cost companies more than just money. Often their reputation goes on the line, and many have to reach out to costly reputation management services to mitigate the damage. 64% of organizational offenses in the United States happen in closely-held or private corporations. (United States Sentencing Committee) Speaking of the structure of the organizations where frauds are committed, 64% of them are private or closely-held corporations. US white-collar crime statistics show that limited liability companies account for 22.7% of cases, and 9.3% of cases happen in publicly traded corporations. If we dig deeper into the infrastructure of American businesses committing corporate offenses, we can conclude that most are small in size. Namely, 66.1% had fewer than 50 employees, and only 9.7% had more than 1,000.  Only 9% of frauds happen in nonprofit organizations. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) Although nonprofit organizations reported very low white-collar crime rates, the $75,000 in damages per case can be a serious blow to smaller organizations. According to the 2020 Report to the Nations study, private organizations accounted for 44% of corporate frauds, public ones for 26%, government agencies for 16%, and other company types for 6%. General White-Collar Crime Statistics FBI white-collar crime statistics show that these criminal offenses cost the US over $300 billion per year. (Cornell Law School 2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), corporate crime offenses are estimated to cost the US more than $300 billion every year. Aside from fines, other penalties for white-collar crimes include paying the cost of prosecution, home detention, forfeitures, community confinement, supervised release, and even imprisonment.  Only 56% of organizations conducted an investigation of their worst corporate criminal incident. (PwC's Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020) When we look at white-collar crime report statistics, we can see that the main reason for the persistent recurrence of corporate crime might be the lack of people willing to report it. Figures show that only 56% of businesses conducted an investigation of their worst incidents related to white-collar crime. Simultaneously, barely one-third of organizations reported the incident to the board. 89% of the interviewees reported negative emotions after an incident or fraud happened at the company. Taking all the necessary steps to address and better understand the issue results in fewer fraud cases in the future. Ignoring white-collar crime sentencing statistics for a moment, nearly 60% of companies who conducted detailed investigations into the fraud cases ended up being better off for it.  80% of white-collar crime perpetrators received some punishment in 2020, but only 59% of the cases were referred to law enforcement agents. (2020 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse) Organizations can refer to the corporate criminal incident internally, through civil litigation, or by reaching out to law enforcement. The statistics on the response to frauds indicate that nearly half of the victim organizations (46%) never refer these frauds to law enforcement, believing that internal discipline is sufficient. Another big reason for refraining from reaching out to the criminal justice system is the fear of bad publicity (32%). There were 755 cases of money laundering in the United States in 2020. (United States Sentencing Committee) White-collar crime statistics by the state indicate that the Southern District of Florida had the highest number of money laundering cases during the fiscal year of 2020 (42). This was followed by the Southern Districts of New York and Texas, with 33 convictions each. One of the ways to prevent money laundering and tax evasion is to engage professional tax software solutions to help companies stay up-to-date and compliant with state and federal tax laws. White-collar crime prison statistics reveal that the maximum prison sentence for insider trading in the United States is 20 years. (US Securities and Exchange Commission) Even though not many people and organizations are willing to go to law enforcement in resolving corporate fraud cases, there are exceptions. When reaching out to the criminal justice system to solve the problem, victim organizations can expect the maximum prison sentence for insider trading to be 20 years. At the same time, the maximum amount of money charged from corporate criminals is $5 million for individuals and $25 million for organizations. Obviously, insider trading is just one of the many corporate frauds that can ruin a company’s finances and reputation, but the steep punishments should serve to encourage more people to speak up and get the felons convicted.
By Danica Djokic · October 07,2021

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