Remote working is in the news for transforming the way people work. It is getting quite popular due to the flexibility and excellent work-life balance it offers both to employees and employers.
As with all good things, there are unfortunately, many myths about it as people are still adjusting to this significant shift in work culture.
The concept of remote work was still in the books until the pandemic accelerated the process and compelled many companies to go remote. During this time, the industry noticed higher productivity and more motivated employees. But despite all perks associated with remote work, there were several myths surrounding the same, which act as a hindering factor.
In this blog, we take a look at some of the myths surrounding remote working and its influence on the traditional workplace.
#1 Remote Workers Are Less Productive
Myth- This is a myth as workers don't need constant supervision to be productive. When the employees are given time-specific tasks and communicated clearly on what is expected, they tend to be more focused.
It is a proven fact that employees are more productive in a remote setting as compared to the office. The main reason for this could be working from a more comfortable place with fewer distractions and dedicated work hours.
The general assumption is that employees tend to concentrate more on household tasks and are not entirely dedicated to work. Still, this myth can only be busted with a bond of trust between the employee and the employer.
Moreover, as long as the employee delivers the work on time or before deadlines, answers emails, and is connected during office hours, the employers need not be overly concerned.
#2 Collaborations Only Work Face-To-Face
Myth- Thanks to technology, you do not need to be face-to-face to have a meaningful conversation or plan something important. In an office setting, spontaneous meetings or get-togethers tend to disrupt the employee's concentration and affect their productivity.
Through video conferencing, employees can collaborate and interact just as quickly and efficiently as they used to earlier. A significant advantage in this factor is that now companies can collaborate with clients and competitors from around the world rather than just the geographically closer ones.
#3 Making Connections Is Challenging
Myth- It sometimes becomes difficult to stay connected with your coworkers and team members when working in a remote setting as there will not be instances of running into each other in the restroom or during lunchtime.
Having a work buddy keeps you motivated and helps you not be lonely when you finish your work early and wish to grab a snack in an office setting. This factor affects remote work as not everyone lives with their family or friends and can otherwise socialize outside their workplace.
But remote working does not limit the opportunities to make connections! Video conferencing and other facilities are not just for work but should also be used to socialize and stay connected with the people you work with.
Many remote offices encourage employees to meet up on video calls every week to socialize with other employees, maintain connections and be more comfortable in sharing ideas when working together.
#4 Everyone Loves Remote Work
Myth - While some employees might enjoy working from home in their pajamas, not everyone can work comfortably with 100% productivity from the comfort of their homes.
Some people like working from a cubical, meeting other employees, and feeling more productive when supervised by a senior at work. These factors make remote working still a do-or-don’t for most offices.
For the same reason, many offices have adapted to the hybrid mode where you are free to decide whether you would like to work from the office or your home.
#5 Remote Workers Get Paid Less
Myth- There was a time when remote work was still new to the industry, and almost 45% of employees were ready to work at 10% less pay to work remotely.
But that did not mean that employees working from home earn any less than office employees. On the contrary, as remote working is normalized, employers are ready to give the employees more or even the same salary they used to get while working from the office.
According to research, it has been found that remote employees make about 8.3% more than regular employees. They don’t just earn more but also save a lot of money in terms of living expenses.
Major metropolitan cities where most Americans work have a high cost of living. An average employee spends on food, transportation, rent, mortgages, and even office attire in a day. Employees can save money by not having to live close to their office in an expensive location.
Some companies are ready to take a step further and pay their employees extra lump of money to settle outside New York City and San Francisco to save on the expenses.
#6 Work Schedules Will Be Disrupted
Myth- It is natural to believe this myth as employees could be running errands or doing house chores during their work hours. But this does not mean that their work schedule is being hampered.
Many employees prefer finishing their work before the deadline and then running personal errands without disrupting the workflow.
When employees go remote, there is less wastage of time and procedures are more smooth where signatures, emails, and even meetings can occur without moving from your desk.
Having a flexible office schedule is essential during remote work as it would be unfair to overwork employees at home or in the office.
#7 Remote Workers Lead An Unhealthy Lifestyle
Myth- Indeed, remote workers do not get out of their houses during work hours, but that does not mean they lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Not having to commute to the workplace and getting ready for work helps them save a lot of time.
They utilize this time to indulge in physical activities or even gym. Another major factor proving this myth wrong is that they are free to prepare their meals. When they are at home, they can eat healthily and cook their meals.
But when the same employees are in the office, they have to rely on the high-calorie lunch at the nearest restaurants and even fast-food joints. This makes their diet unhealthy and adds to the off-track sleep schedule.
#8 Digital Security Is At Risk
Myth - Keeping a company’s data secure is essential in the age of competition, but some people think this is at risk when employees are working remotely without adequate security tools in place.
While it might be difficult for the IT team to manage security settings in an remote environment, companies are working to develop stronger security measures and provide stronger security systems to their employees.
#9 Remote Employees Can Work From Anywhere
True - Although working from a cafe or a remote location might sound like a good idea it is a bit challenging sometimes. However this does not ditter digital nomads from working from exotic remote locations.
Working remotely does not hinder your concentration or prevent you from taking work calls. The best way to tackle this situation is by making a dedicated space for working, no matter what your location.
This way, you can separate your personal space from your workspace, allowing you to keep a healthy balance between your work and life. Not mixing up the two locations is essential in a remote setting.
#10 Remote Employees Have Lots Of Free Time
Myth- This myth is very believable as micromanaging is not practiced in a remote location. In addition, it is often believed that employees finish their daily tasks in the initial hours of their shift and do not work the rest of the day.
This is not true as remote work is similar to any other job. For example, you have to be next to your desktop during work hours and be available on call. In addition, employees often struggle to make their friends and family understand the importance of privacy during work hours.
So before you assume that a remote employee might be running an errand or out shopping with their friends, it is essential to understand that they are equally responsible towards their work and are often more busy than people working from an office environment.
The Reality Of Remote Work
Even though remote work has entered the work culture as we had no other option, it is here to stay, and half of the world has already received it with open arms.
Working from home requires a lot of discipline and might not work for everyone. There could be a possibility that you take a little break and do not find enough motivation to get back to work.
This might hinder your work and leave you procrastinating about unfinished work. While you work from home, there are thousands of distractions, from a messy room, piled up laundry, and even cooking an elaborated snack.
It requires motivation to get back to work without checking your phone ten times and falling asleep on the desk during a meeting. Working from home shifts the responsibility of working on time to yourself.
Working remotely sure comes with its perks, but the disadvantages balance it out. many businesses across the world have started outsourcing their work to virtual assistants to save time and money.
The Final Word
Working from home will always have myths associated with it, but the truth is that it has helped many Americans stay ahead and perform better at work and also maintain a healthy work-life balance.