5 Busted Remote Work Myths
In the past several months, businesses have rushed to modify their remote work policies to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. It sure looks like we will be living and working with this crisis for the foreseeable future, and as such, many companies are considering making those policies permanent.
While many workers have rapidly transitioned to remote work out of necessity this year, this trend has been increasing for quite some time.
In 2016, 43 percent of workers did some form of work from home, and 90 percent said they wanted to work from home at least part of the time.
Therefore, here are five of the most common myths about remote work, and why they shouldn’t keep you from embracing the future.
Myth #1: Remote Employees Aren’t Productive
This is the most cited myth by managers and execs who distrust the remote work system. They worry about employees lounging in bed and binging Netflix shows on the company dime.
We are not going to lie–this is a possibility, but anyone who takes remote work as an excuse to slack off was probably not very productive in-office, either.
Exceptions aside, most employees recognize that remote work is a privilege that comes with a whole host of benefits—no commute, increased autonomy, optimized work environment, etc.—and that it is in everyone’s best interest to make remote work successful.
Myth #2: Managers Can’t Work Remotely
Many people who are unsure about remote work assume that managers cannot effectively manage without being in the same place as their employees.
Above all, management is not about standing over your team’s shoulders and making sure they do what they’re supposed to do. It is about supporting their needs and giving them the tools and feedback that they need to do their jobs successfully. What part of that job description requires constant face-to-face interaction?
Myth #3: Remote Work Means Your Data Is Unsafe
Some companies feel that there is no way to allow employees to work remotely without jeopardizing the safety of private company information, passwords, or other critical internal data. This myth may be half true—if you have employees conducting work with highly-sensitive information using the free WiFi at their local coffee shop, you might have cause for concern.
But there are many protective tools you can put into place to keep your information safe. You can also set policies to encourage employees to practice safe digital habits. If this a concern for your team, start with educating employees on best practices to keep your data safe from home.
Technology has advanced as such that a qualified IT team can keep these types of issues to a minimum.
Myth #4: Communication Suffers
When someone works remotely it does not mean the quality of communication goes down. Telecommunication removes in-person nuances and helps employees to dive right into meaningful work. Yet, for this to work, managers need to outline clear expectations and tools for communication should someone choose to work remotely.
There’s also a growing trend of remote companies going to great lengths to provide digital methods of socialization. Setting aside intentional blocks of time for casual “breakroom talk” via video calls, non-work related Slack channels (pets, kids, and sports channels are always a hit), and offsite meetups are all ways that remote teams foster communication and feel connected.
Myth #5: Remote Work Ruins Company Culture
The last myth covers company culture, which some people feel cannot exist between remote employees. The idea behind the myth is that company culture is driven by people spending time in the same space and interacting with each other. In reality, company culture exists when management and executive teams set a tone that the rest of the company adopts.
This can absolutely be done remotely, and many remote teams boast incredible company cultures. For one thing, you can still have in-person gatherings for remote teams. Many remote-only teams will have occasional team meet-ups, both for work purposes and leisure purposes. Spending one night every few months doing a team bonding activity like bowling or karaoke can really unite the team during remote workdays.
There you have it! Five of the most common work-from-home myths busted. If you’re looking for more information on the benefits of remote work or you need information regarding remote working software tools you can read it in our other blogs.