In case you haven’t heard, remote work is on the rise. 52% of the global workforce currently works from home at least once a week. Experts expect this number to grow in the coming years. Which means remote working arrangements might soon become the new normal.
In light of this, we wanted to take some time to debunk a few popular remote work myths. Keep reading to learn the truth.
7 Myths About Remote Work
Remote work is exploding in popularity. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few often-believed myths about this kind of working arrangement. In this section, we’ll debunk the seven most prevalent myths in regards to remote work. First up…
Myth #1: Remote Work Equals Less Work
Many people believe that remote workers sit around in their pajamas all day, watching Netflix, and doing as little work as humanly possible. While it’s true that the dress code for out-of-office workers is more lax, the idea that they accomplish less than in-office employees is completely false. In fact, in many cases, the opposite is true.
A recent Stanford study found that remote work leads to a 13% increase in employee performance. And a FlexJobs study from 2018 confirms these findings. According to the annual survey, 65% of employees claim to be more productive when working outside of a traditional office setting. This is because there are generally fewer meetings to attend and less distractions to get sidetracked by.
What do these stats tell us? That remote working situations lead to more productive team members. Imagine that!
Myth #2: Remote Work Never Ends
Others believe that remote work results in a never ending to-do list and a 24/7 work schedule for out-of-office employees. This is also false.
In fact, only 20% of telecommuters claim to feel overworked, as opposed to 22% of in-office employees, according to Owl Labs. Even when remote team members do work more than the average 40 hour work week, it’s often because they simply enjoy what they do, not because they feel forced to put in additional time.
Myth #3: Remote Work Kills Company Culture
If employees aren’t physically present with each other, isn’t it more difficult to build positive company culture? It’s true that camaraderie is harder to develop when team members work in different locations. But camaraderie doesn’t always lead to great culture anyway.
It’s more important for team members to feel valued and engaged in their work than it is for them to become best friends with their coworkers.
As long as an emphasis is placed on proper communication (more on that below), management takes time to ensure their teams feel appreciated, and employees actually enjoy the work they do, company culture will flourish.
Myth #4: Remote Work Leads to Poor Communication
The truth is, communication will suffer in any working arrangement, in-office or remote, if employees don’t make an effort to interact and engage with each other.
When communication is prioritized, there’s no legitimate reason for it to suffer due to a remote working arrangement. There are a plethora of communication apps on the market that allow teams to stay connected via text, voice, and video chat, and share documents. You and your remote team members just have to commit to using them.
Some companies have even gone so far as to schedule regular “breakroom talk times” to allow remote staffers to get to know and socialize with their coworkers. Practices such as these could result in more natural communication between long-distance teams.
Myth #5: Remote Work Limits Training Opportunities
This seems like a logical concern. If employees aren’t physically present in the office, won’t it be difficult to train them? And if employees don’t get regular training, won’t their performance suffer? And if their performance suffers, how will my company grow?
These are all important questions that need to be answered. Fortunately, training remote employees isn’t an issue. In fact, 87% of remote employees receive training on a regular basis.
Once again, technology comes to the rescue. It’s fairly easy and extremely cost effective to train team members digitally. Online courses, written documents, video chats, screen shares, and similar means are popular educational tools. Plus, these options make it much easier to record and distribute training materials than in-person classes. Once a lesson has been taught and recorded, it can then be shared with future remote employees, saving your company time and resources.
Myth #6: Remote Work Prohibits Career Advancement
The validity of this argument depends on the company an employee works for. Some organizations might be completely opposed to promoting remote workers. But this wouldn’t make much sense given the improved performance remote employees display.
Those who telecommute also don’t have the same number of chances to socialize with company decision-makers and schmooze their way into a promotion.
But as long as you are employed by a smart company who rewards promotions to those who merit them, you shouldn’t experience any roadblocks to your career.
Myth #7: Remote Work Increases Loneliness
Lastly, many hold the belief that remote work increases loneliness. Without coworkers to socialize with, won’t remote employees become depressed? This view assumes that all remote workers are lacked away in their home offices 24/7, which isn’t usually the case.
Many folks who work remotely spend time at coffee shops, libraries, and coworking spaces where they can have plenty of interaction with other humans if they choose.
But the biggest reason why we know that remote work doesn’t increase loneliness is because of the data. An AmeriSleep study found that:
- Remote employees are 57% happier in their careers than in-office employees.
- 80% of remote workers are less stressed now that they work remotely.
- 75% of remote workers hope to work remotely for the rest of their careers.
These stats help build a strong case against the notion that remote work increases loneliness. If it did, why would so many remote employees be happier and less stressed?
The Truth About Remote Work
The truth is, remote work is a wonderful arrangement for many people and the businesses they’re employed by. Studies prove that those who consistently operate outside the main company office are generally more productive, better team contributors, and experience more happiness than their in-office counterparts.
So the next time someone tries to tell you that remote work isn’t an effective working arrangement, feel free to point them to this blog post and we’ll set the record straight!
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