For many people, the thought of remote work is accompanied by thoughts of sandy white beaches, sitting under a palm tree with your laptop and a cold drink. For almost 100% of remote workers, that’s not the reality. (Although we wish it was!) The truth about remote workers is that around 84% of them are working from their home office space. A much smaller percentage of remote workers primarily work from coworking spaces (8%), coffee shops (4%), libraries (0.5%) and other places (3%) – so maybe only that 3% are actually working from a beach house in Cabo.
The Future of Remote Work
Many businesses and bosses have resisted turning to remote work or flexible work schedules due to their belief that people need to be in the office to be productive. Or maybe they were reluctant simply due to the organizational and structural changes that take place during the switch. Whatever the reason was, a lot of people have said “no” to a work from home team.
Since the pandemic, a lot of people have turned to remote work as a savior from keeping certain businesses from shutting down. The world has transformed at high speeds to accommodate employees to stay employed by working remotely. Many companies and organizations won’t rush to bring everyone back into the office after the pandemic is clear, and it begs the question: Will some people simply stay remote workers after seeing that it is possible?
With the working world developing in a new remote work friendly way, some people are still skeptical of the results produced by remote working. It’s time for CallHarbor to dispel some remote work myths that have some people holding back.
Myth 1: Remote workers are unproductive
The most common myth said about remote work is that the remote employees are lazy and unproductive when they work from home. Maybe people think that because remote employees don’t in an office setting where their bosses and fellow employees can physically see what they are doing, that they must be slacking off.
This myth, though the most common, is really the farthest off. Many studies have shown that remote workers are just as productive, if not more productive than their in-office counterparts. They are also less likely to take sick days, and they average working 1.4 days more each month compared to in-office employees, which equates to 16.8 (three additional weeks!) of work per year.
Myth 2: Business outcomes suffer due to laziness
Remote work non-believers often equate their “lazy remote workers” theory to businesses outcomes suffering. However, remote work benefits organizations in many ways. Like stated above, remote workers are known to be overall more productive. They are also known to be happier in general due to their flexibility. Happy employees equal hard working employees, so their effort is usually one that makes a difference.
Myth 3: Remote work causes poor workplace communication
Skeptics of remote work might assume that because remote workers aren’t surrounded by their team in the office that communication suffers because of it. This is definitely not true, and some employees have even said they communication more with their fellow employees thanks to communication platforms such as Slack.
Lack of communication can happen when remote teams aren’t forced to communicate, but lack of communication can also happen in the office, so it’s not a remote only possibility. It’s to the leader of the team to instill good communication habits, whether it’s remotely or in office. Using unified communications tools such as team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone tools helps promote collaborative communications between teams and positions and break down communication barriers.
Myth 4: Managing remote workers is impossible
People against remote work also argue that, without proximity, managing remote teams is simply too hard to be worth it. They have an image in their head of a manager that has no idea what anyone is working on, and can’t get ahold of his employees.
Managing remote workers does differ dramatically from managing office workers, but it is nowhere near impossible. Some managers are even more organized, because they have to be to keep everything in order. Managers have to look for product, and keep hard deadlines to see progress and work results. Many task manager systems such as Trello exist, which can show what stage everyone is at in different tasks, and who is assigned to what.
Check out our blog post, Quick Tips for Managing a Remote Team for more info on managing remote teams.
The Truth About Remote Work
As many organizations continue to implement their work from home strategies, with some even extending out an offer for permanent flexible work, it’s important to remember to go towards remote work with a positive attitude. Remote and flexible work options, when implemented correctly and when using the correct tools, can be an amazing thing for the workplace to utilize.
As a workplace community, we can leave these remote work myths behind, and build a collaborative and successful work from anywhere environment.