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10 Common Myths about Remote Work

Updated on March 28, 2018
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Besides writing, Prachi is also into choreography and web development. She currently speaks Hindi, English, Spanish and a little French.

Remote work is rising at a very fast pace. Accept it or not, most of the employees are choosing a half an hour of nap instead of getting stuck in traffic. It turns out many of them want home cooked meals and not frozen meals during the break. They are also willing to collaborate more with their co-workers and not waste the crucial time over break time gossip. Overall, I want to convey that remote work is becoming trendier.
According to a survey, almost 40% of the workforce is doing their job remotely and the percentage is only rising with no signs of downfall. Yet, there are myths and misconception regarding the working mechanism of remote workers, most importantly the level of dedication and commitment to a job. Many people think that if these people cannot come to office to do daily work, then they are not worthy enough for any kind of job, but that’s not true.
Here are the ten most common myths about remote work:

Myth 1: Remote Work does not boost Productivity

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It is very easy to consider the fact that if someone is working remotely, and then they are distracted as they do not have a senior to look after them. On the other hand, a study conducted by Harvard Business concludes that if the companies hire more remote workers, then the productivity has seen to be increased by almost 13.5%, which is quite a noticeable difference.
In fact, someone working away from the office is meant to receive fewer interruptions to face, while those who work in office suffer from common break time effect – the common practice that workers are asked to leave their work to go over a cup of coffee or have a party break to celebrate co-worker’s birthday or other team celebration. Luckily, remote workers do not have deal with such distractions and nor they need extra time to bring back the focus after the break.

Myth 2: Remote Workers are Difficult to Contact

If remote workers are not present in office, then it does not conclude that they are off for a vacation or relaxing in their bed. Their work is scheduled in a same way as that of the office they are working for, tied with their realistic schedule and operating for eight hours a day as the regular business hours.
As per the survey done by TINYpulse based on the productivity and satisfaction levels of remote workers, the result has shown that at least 50% (almost 52%) of them report to their manager on daily basis, while an additional of 34% of them report their manager on weekly basis.
Hence, it clearly shows the dedication level of remote workers and they are surely not away for couple of hours to relax at spa or sweat at gym.

Myth 3: Remote Work Symbolizes Unsafe Data

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It is not uncommon for many companies to get worried about the confidentiality of their data when they transfer it to the computers working on unsecured servers. But, this is a waste of time to worry about such thing. With extreme technological advancements happening every second, there are highly qualified IT experts who can lower the risks of such issues.
There are plenty of solutions devised by IT experts at every place. Generally, most of the work is done using the cloud-based applications, which eases the work of IT experts’ team as they do not have to access the physical machine to monitor the security status. VPN (Virtual Private Network) and two factor authentication are two such practices that can ensure the security of the information being processed reducing the risks of confidentiality breach.
Still, many people will object the solution since hackers may find out another method to steal the information, but in reality these issues are related to people and not based on location.

Myth 4: Communication Gap

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Working remotely is not at all proportionate to miscommunication; in fact such technique of working removes unwanted discussions and only demands meaningful telecommunication. Since, there can still be some issues, it is better to discuss the expectations and mode of contact in advance, before signing the employee for work.
On the other hand, many companies are adapting new technologies to boost socialization with remote workers such as for offsite meetings and casual talk about sports and pets.

Myth 5: Ineffective Meetings

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Meetings are equally effective when conducted through online sources such as Zoom, Skype and more.
When there is a need to accomplish a heavy task, for this there is a general understanding that people working at same work space will have more serious attention and quickness to do the work. But in reality, remote workers as a team tend to have better knowledge of different time zones and are more conscious of the workloads, which are supposed to be completed within a specified time slot.

Myth 6: Remote Work is isolated

Working remotely does not always mean that the person is stick to a lonely place for all day long. But that’s not the only choice they have, other places such as libraries, coffee shops and working spaces are extremely popular among these kinds of workers.
Even some start-up companies are building work spaces especially meant for remote workers such as Workfrom. Workfrom is a site that functions on the basis of feedback provided by such workers to offer them the best public spaces to work at.

Myth 7: Remote Work is Expensive

Some many consider that employing a remote worker may increase the overall cost of the production, but this is simply contradictory to the reality. While many remote workers do not need essential equipment required for working, there may, sometimes, be an additional shipping costs required to provide them with desks and equipment.
But if we look at the overhead costs, then it significantly decreases as there is no requirement of larger work space, furniture, amenities (such as coffee, copy machines, food and more) and sky-high rent. Also less emission of carbon since remote employees need no commute.

Myth 8: Disturbance to Company culture and ethics

This fact cannot be ignored that when work is being conducted offsite, and then office solidarity is highly disturbed. But if we consider all the possibilities, we can see the comparatively higher benefit in this working style since there is no water cooler gossip, no long break time or celebrations, rather the employee is fully adhered to the project guidelines.
It reduces the work of managers, who no longer have to keep a strict eye on its employees and make them realize the efforts needed to meet the project deadline.

Myth 9: Remote Workers are available 24/7

If the remote workers are working full time from their home or any other distant location, then it does not conclude that they are ready to work at any time of the day. They may not arrive to office like other employees, but they do get clocked out after working for so long. Remote workers tend to follow same schedule as that of office co-workers and thus, same rules should be placed on them too.

Myth 10: Netflix is Streaming at every second

Working with little entertainment and fun tones down the mental tension of workload be it for a remote worker or an office employee. Both of them prefer to have some background noise whether it is in the form of radio or Spotify. But according to the feedback of remote workers, they find focussing on the work equally difficult when watching their favorite shows, similar to the office workers.
Irony to the situation, remote workers, too, put on their pants every day and work exactly similar manner to that of the office going employees.

Do you think remote workers are equally effective as office workers?

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