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Remote Manager Report 2022 - 350 interviews from the best in tech | Product Hunt
A woman celebrates with her dog and coworker over Zoom. Culture is king for teams!

The Remote Manager
Report 2022

350 managers. 175 companies. Our biggest report yet.

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Report Highlights

Remote is long-term.

In 2020, over 16% of companies planned to return to the office full-time. This shrunk to 6.6% in 2022, showing a global shift towards flexible work.

There's less gender diversity higher up the chain.

Women and femme-aligned people made up the slight majority (51.6%) of Managers. However, this changed with higher seniority. Men and masc-aligned people made up the majority of Directors, VPs, and CXOs.

The average team size is about 7 direct reports.

This grew from 2021 and nearly doubled since 2020.

We're burning out, faster.

Over 63% of respondents said they had experienced burnout or mental health issues. Burnout was highest among CXOs (78%) and VPs (81%).

Companies are growing
despite The Great Resignation.

Over 85% of the tech companies included in this study were growing or hiring within the last six months. This is a 13% increase from last year.

If you're hiring, show off your remote flexibility and culture above all else.

We asked leaders to rank the most important factors when assessing a new job opportunity. Workplace flexibility was prioritized first and company culture came second. These were ranked above compensation or benefits!

The hardest part of remote work is soft skill-related.

Building relationships and trust was the biggest struggle for remote managers. The second was burnout.

There are two kinds of managers. Their struggles are pretty different.

Managers who led for the first time in the pandemic have an easier time with remote-based leadership than those who had experience before the pandemic.

Table of Contents

Remote Manager Trends

Expert Advice

1 - Report Highlights

20 - Team Building with Kona

3 - Introduction

21 - Team Building Ideas

4 - The Companies

22 - Psychological Safety Survey

6 - The Managers

23 - Hire Anywhere with Oyster

8 - Diversity: Gender & Tech

24 - 1:1s with Hypercontext

10 - Team Structure

25 - Coaching with Evolution

12 - The Hardest Part of Management

26 - Productivity with Twist

15 - Understanding Remote Burnout

27 - Fight Burnout with Kona

17 - The Great Resignation

29 - Async with Workplaceless

19 - Conclusion: What's Next?

30 - Remote Strategy with GitLab

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We're looking to the future.

We've entered a new normal in 2022. As vaccines became more widely spread, tech companies reopened offices to hybrid work and organized company retreats. Many teams traveled hundreds of miles to meet coworkers face-to-face. For a vast majority, this was their first time meeting teammates in two years!

While these milestones have given leaders the confidence to plan beyond the pandemic, we still had significant questions about the Future of Work. Where are remote and hybrid leaders struggling most? How has the Great Resignation affected hiring and employee priorities? How did the shift to remote two years ago forever change how we work today?

This report tackles these questions head on. We included interview and survey data from over 350 remote leaders from 175+ of the best tech companies in the world.

Our 2022 Remote Manager Report was a labor of love from a small but passionate team. It represents over 250 hours of manager interviews, research, writing, and design. It also represents the generosity of leaders in tech. Every interview started with a cold LinkedIn connection request and a question, "What's been the hardest part of leading remote teams?"

In our 2020 Report, we observed how empathetic leadership could bridge the gap during a time of great change. In the 2021 Report, we saw leaders prioritize team wellbeing and long-term remote strategy as a form of resilience. This year, we watched companies endure the Great Resignation and prepare for a future beyond the pandemic. These factors have created a Future of Work that not only demands location flexibility, but also a leadership philosophy that puts people first.

This is our report on the state of remote management for 2022.

Made with love
by the team at Kona.

The Companies

A cluster of logos of remote tech companies and startups.
A pie chart showing the manager seniority of our interviewees.

Company Size

We focused on a variety of tech companies and startups. Similar to our previous reports, we contacted managers through thousands of LinkedIn connection requests. By January 2022, most companies had been remote for at least two years. This allowed for a larger interview pool and even distribution in company sizes. We see a slight skew towards 51-200 person companies because they’re often fast-growing startups with more managers and less red tape.

Remote Work Plans post-COVID-19

With the widespread adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine, we saw many companies return to the office. However, very few companies made office-first their long-term plan. This is likely due to worker demands for location flexibility and fears of another COVID-19 variant. More than 50% of the companies continue to be remote-first while 41.7% opted for a hybrid model. Only 6.6% of the companies are office-first, demonstrating the success of work from home.

A pie graph showing the remote managers' role functions.

Download the rest.
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There are more than 30 pages of leadership insights waiting. Get the full Remote Manager Report today!

Get the PDF

The Managers

Experience Level

We looked to understand management across various experience levels. For the most part, we found a relatively even spread in manager tenure. The majority of our interviewees were experienced leaders, with over 80% of interviewees leading teams for over 3 years. Less than 20% had never led teams prior to the pandemic.

A pie graph showing the remote managers' role functions.
A pie chart showing the manager seniority of our interviewees.

Role Function

In order to account for functional differences, we reached out to leaders across 12 departments. We defined departments by job title and recognize that some job descriptions may intersect multiple departments. We collected the highest response rates from Engineering (18.2%), Human Resources (16.8%), and Sales (15.1%).

Managers by Region

The majority of our respondents came from the United States (80.3%). This was followed by Canada (5.7%), the UK (3.8%), France (1.9%), the Netherlands (1.51%), India (1.13%), and Australia (1.13%). We also had a handful of interviewees from Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland. Given the geographic bias of our interviews, we acknowledge that the trends shown here will be skewed towards this cultural bias.

A picture of the United States, Canada, UK, and India. These were the regions where our remote interviewees came from.
A pie chart showing the manager seniority of our interviewees.

Seniority

We define “Manager” as a person managing individual contributors (ICs) and “Director” as a person managing both ICs and other Managers. Our interview sample is skewed toward Directors (44.2%) and Managers (36.8%). CXOs made up the smallest group interviewed.

Download the rest.
It's free.

There are more than 30 pages of leadership insights waiting. Get the full Remote Manager Report today!

Get the PDF