There are so many myths about remote work circling across the internet. The remote work numbers are on the rapid rise in the new normal. According to the global workforce, 52% of the employees work from home at least once a week.
Experts and businesses are expecting the number to grow in the coming months.
However, many employers or sometimes even employees are skeptical about working from home.
Employees who are usually under manager surveillance may fear that deviating from that norm will lead to laziness, procrastination, and a host of other concerns.
Thankfully, many of these myths about remote work are unfolded by researchers. Most teams can maintain the existing success after making the switch when some individuals or specific job descriptions are not suited for remote work.
Myth #1: Remote Work isn’t Productive
The general perception of remote workers is that they sit around in their pajamas, watching Netflix all day, and doing as little work as humanly possible. However, the idea that employees out of the office accomplish less work despite dressing differently is completely false. In many cases, it is the opposite.
Research by IWG indicates that 85% of companies report increased productivity as a result of more flexible work schedules. Remote employees working outside of the office to be more productive due to fewer distractions, fewer office politics, and a more personalized environment. We can encourage productivity by adding project management software that enables full task delegation and maintains visibility throughout projects.
Myth #2: Remote Work Ruins Company Culture
Based on the myth, company culture is shaped by individuals spending time in the same space and interacting with each other. However, company culture exists when management and executive teams set the tone that the rest of the company adopts.
You can do this remotely, and many remote companies have extraordinary cultures. Many remote-only teams will meet up regularly, either for work purposes or leisure purposes. Even if you’re not working in the office, small bonding moments or lighthearted conversations can still happen, and video calls especially help foster collaboration between team members.
Myth #3: Remote Workers Need To Be Micromanaged
Companies can feel the need to monitor employees not in the office when they worry that their employees are taking advantage of the remote system. Some companies use time-tracking software and incessant communication to manage their remote employees.
Computer time-tracking software monitors how remote employees spend their time. Most employees don’t need this level of monitoring to be successful remotely. Monitoring your team is helpful and necessary, but excessive supervision may be counterproductive.
On the other hand, constant communication disrupts workflows. More often than not, it detracts from productivity, since employees spend so much time talking to each other they don’t have time left to do actual work.
Consider confronting your preconceived notions about your team’s ability to deliver without your guidance and then giving them a chance to prove you wrong.
Myth #4: Remote Work Threatens Data Security
Some companies are concerned that providing employees with the freedom to work from home would jeopardize vital data, such as passwords, and sensitive company information. There may be some truth to this myth — if you are using free WiFi in your local coffee shop to conduct sensitive work, you might have serious concerns.
You can use many protective tools to keep your information safe and also encourage employees to adopt safe digital habits. If your team worries about this, you can eliminate their worries by educating employees on the security practices, which starts by making their digital actions more secure.
Myth #5: Remote Work Causes Communication Breakdowns
Lastly, communication will suffer in either an in-office or a remote arrangement if employees aren’t interested in engaging and communicating with each other.
It is more important than ever to pay close attention to how your team members communicate. Tech-driven team collaboration platforms like Slack, Trello, Asana and more video conferencing tools are already becoming the norm. Emerging studies show that lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to feelings of isolation and even paranoia.
A regular, scheduled daily or weekly meeting by video or audio can reduce the use of email, and can also create a more shared sense of identity, values, and purpose. We’d recommend you implement these tips to avoid communication breakdowns.
- Create a shared plan for the team. Ensure everyone is on the same page as to who will contribute and by when.
- Create a collaborative team culture. Focus on regular face-to-face interaction and social time.
- Use the right technologies. Set strict guidelines on email usage and replace it with video and chat tools whenever appropriate.
- Build a sense of balance in your team. Monitor workloads, watch out for signs of stress or isolation, and create an open culture where employees feel comfortable raising concerns.
Several companies host virtual activities for remote workers that will help them get to know their coworkers and socialize with them. These practices may result in better communication among dispersed team members.
Remote working arrangements do not affect the quality of communication whenever it’s prioritized. There are team collaboration tools available that allow you and your remote team members to stay connected via text, audio, and video chat, so you can work together on documents. It’s just a matter of committing to using them.
We busted the most common myths about Remote work. Studies prove remote employees perform better in their roles, contribute better to their team, and experience greater happiness than their in-office counterparts.
If you’re looking for more information on how you can prepare your organization for remote work, we do a deeper dive in our blog here. Gain the latest insights from experts on remote work and tangible action steps to make the remote work shift more seamless.