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The Top Struggles of Remote Workers

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The Top Struggles of Remote Workers

The Briefing

  • The top challenge remote workers face is unplugging from work, followed by loneliness, and communicating with coworkers.
  • Despite these challenges, 98% of remote workers wish to continue working remotely, at least some of the time.

The Top Struggles of Remote Workers

Unplugging from work can be challenging at the best of times.

But when your living room doubles as your office, it can be even harder–at least that’s the case for 22% of remote workers.

Thanks to the global pandemic, millions of workers have been sent home to work at a safe distance. While many remote workers enjoy the flexibility that comes with remote work, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

Here’s a ranking of the top struggles that remote workers face, according to a recent report by Buffer and AngelList:

RankChallenge% of Respondents
1Unplugging from work22%
2Loneliness19%
3Collaborating and/or communicating17%
4Distractions at home10%
5Different time zones from team8%
6Staying motivated8%
7Taking vacation time7%
8Reliable WiFi3%

The report also found that only 15% of employers paid the cost of home internet, and 21% covered the cost of a phone plan in a work-from-home situation. However, with this type of arrangement still being relatively new for most, these perks could evolve over time.

Despite the various challenges involved, 98% of remote workers would like to continue working remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers.

In short—while remote work poses its own set of struggles, the benefits outweigh the cons.

»For a more in-depth look at the topic of remote work, visit: How People and Companies Feel About Working Remotely.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The State of Remote Work Report, from Buffer and AngelList
Details: Survey results from 3,500 remote workers from across the globe.
Notes: This report was published in February of 2020 and the data was collected in November of 2019.

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Datastream

Ranked: The Countries with the Most Linguistic Diversity

Thousands of languages are spoken globally, but they aren’t evenly dispersed. Here’s a look at countries with the most linguistic diversity.

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Ranked The Countries with the Most Linguistic Diversity

The Briefing

  • Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with approximately 840 different languages spoken across the islands
  • In second place, Indonesia has around 711 different languages. Only 20% of the population speaks the national language of Bahasa Indonesian at home

Ranked: The Most Diverse Countries By Language

Thousands of languages are spoken worldwide, but only a fraction are used widely. In fact, the speakers of 23 languages account for more than half of the total global population.

Despite this, there are still pockets around the globe that are rich in linguistic diversity. Here’s a look at the top 10 countries where the most languages are spoken.

These numbers include established and immigrant dialects.

Top 10 Countries with the Most Languages

Despite a population of just 8.8 million, Papua New Guinea comes in first with a total of 840 languages spoken across the country. To put things into perspective, that’s almost 12% of the world’s languages spoken in an area that’s roughly the size of California.

RankCountryTotal LanguagesPopulation 2020 (M)
1🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea8408.8
2🇮🇩 Indonesia711270.6
3🇳🇬 Nigeria517201.0
4🇮🇳 India4561,366.0
5🇺🇸 United States328328.2
6🇦🇺 Australia31225.4
7🇨🇳 China3091,398.0
8🇲🇽 Mexico292127.6
9🇨🇲 Cameroon27425.9
10🇧🇷 Brazil221211.0

A likely reason for the country’s linguistic diversity is its isolation from modern life. Over 80% of Papua New Guinea’s population lives in rural areas and has minimal contact with external influences or other tribes.

Second on the list is Indonesia, with 711 different languages used throughout the country. Like Papua New Guinea, a major factor that could explain its language diversity is its geography—Indonesia is made up of around 17,500 islands (although more than 7,000 of them are uninhabited).

The Future of Language Diversity

While it’s clear that a multitude of languages still exist, around 40% of the world’s languages are at risk of dying out. Even in parts of the world where immense linguistic diversity remains, languages are disappearing with each subsequent generation.

In efforts to combat this, organizations like the United Nations are actively trying to promote and protect these endangered languages.

>>Like this? Check out our article on the Top 10 Most Spoken Languages

Where does this data come from?


Source: Ethnologue
Notes: This database covers a majority of the world’s population and details approximately 7,111 living languages

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Visualizing Gold ETFs’ Record Inflows of 2020

Gold ETFs saw record inflows in 2020. Making up two-thirds of investment demand, gold ETFs play a key role in gold markets.

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Gold ETF Flows

The Briefing

  • Gold ETF inflows in 2020 amounted to $47.9B (877.1t), more than doubling 2019’s inflows
  • This marks the fifth straight year of inflows into gold ETFs, almost doubling the previous record inflows in 2016 of $24.1B (541.1t)

Gold ETFs See Record Inflows in 2020

Gold had a strong year with 25% returns, and gold ETF inflows followed, reaching a new record high of $47.9 billion in 2020.

Gold-backed and gold ETFs have increasingly become a vital part of the gold investment market, making up around two-thirds of global net inflows for investment demand in the precious metal.

While gold set new all-time highs around $2,075/oz in 2020, gold ETF inflows ($47.5B) almost doubled the previous record-year of inflows (2016, $24.1B), and eclipsed 2013’s record year of outflows ($-41.6B).

YearTotal Flows in TonnesTotal Flows in USD
200342.5t$0.1B
2004125.4t$1.5B
2005218.9t$3.3B
2006260.2t$4.8B
2007251.5t$5.6B
2008311.0t$11.2B
2009649.0t$19.3B
2010388.6t$14.8B
2011260.0t$11.8B
2012251.9t$17.1B
2013-887.1t$-41.6B
2014-149.3t$-5.0B
2015-129.3t$-3.5B
2016541.1t$24.1B
2017271.6t$9.8B
201870.1t$4.0B
2019398.3t$19.1B
2020877.1t$47.9B

Gold futures also saw increased participation in 2020, with aggregate open interest reaching yearly record-highs of $120.9B as investors and traders sought gold exposure.

North American Funds Represent Most Gold ETF Inflows

In terms of regionality, North American funds accounted for almost two-thirds of global net inflows from Q1-Q3’2020, reaching a total inflow of $31.9B for the year.

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), the first U.S. gold ETF launched in 2004, made up the majority of North American inflows at $15.4B. Interestingly, this one ETF alone eclipsed Europe’s entire inflows for 2020 ($13.3B).

While Gold ETFs in Asia only reached $1.9B last year, their holdings saw the greatest percentage increase of all regions (49%) with seven new Chinese funds listed in 2020.

Gold ETFs are Driving Gold Investment Demand

Although flows turned negative in November ($-6.8B) and December ($-2.2B) of 2020, Gold ETF flows have returned positive for the first couple of weeks of 2021, with a $2.1B inflow as of Jan 15, 2021.

This return to positive ETF flows came as gold fell more than 5% from its $1,950 highs reached in early January. This could be a sign of gold ETF investors buying the dip, as gold potentially begins to turn upwards for the final two weeks of January.

Since gold ETFs make up such a large part of gold investment demand, keeping an eye on ETF flows can offer insight into where the precious metal might be headed.

»If you found this article interesting, you might enjoy this post on the ETFs: Visualizing the Expanse of the ETF Universe

Where does this data come from?

Source: World Gold Council
Details: The World Gold Council aggregates data from Bloomberg, ICE Benchmark Administration, and company filings.

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