[Reality Check] : Busting Remote Work Myths
The days of four office walls and nine-to-five working hours are way behind us. Remote work is on the rise and more and more employers and employees prefer working remotely now.
And I don’t wonder why - between 30 minutes of traffic and 30 more minutes of sleep - I would choose the latter.
For the millennial workforce, working from home is the ultimate career fantasy. But remote work doesn't always mean sitting on your couch in your pajamas with your laptop. While the numbers of remote workers in the world are increasing fast, the stereotypes and remote work myths are slow to die.
Myth#1 - Remote teams lack communication and are not productive
Anyone, whether working remotely or in an office can slack off and get disinterested if there is a lack of top to bottom communication. Having said that it is easy to assume that remote workers are easily distracted and lack coordination, but reports prove the contrary.
Sure, it’s true that remote workers can pick their own working hours but only to an extent. In fact, remote workers often work more than eight hours a day since home becomes a place of work and it’s difficult to draw a line between the two for them.
With set goals along with regular status updates, no remote worker will be titled a ‘slacker’, regardless of where they are located.
Myth#2 - Remote work is for startups
There are some common questions that always pop up when huge organizations wish to work remotely. Can a big organization really work remotely without the added complications? How to deal with the social disconnect? Will this be a successful move for the organization?
Organizations fail to understand that workers can be just as productive working remotely as they can be working on the office desk. All they need is required infrastructure along with a streamlined process.
Automattic, the company behind WordPress, shut down their San Francisco office in 2017 and had all its employees work from home. At the moment, it has over 550+ employees scattered across 50 countries.
Even companies as big as Microsoft have distributed teams that have been working remotely for years now.
Scott Hanselman, the Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, has been working remotely and managing his remote team for the past 10 years.
It makes sense for these organizations to hire remote employees for they get access to highly skilled workforce across the world. With effective planning, even the social (office) moments are being baked into a remote environment among teams.
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Myth#3 - Collaboration is difficult in a remote team
Imagine a highly skilled engineer who creates breakthroughs in product development and is a problem solver. But he lives over 2000 miles away, speaks another language and you’ve never met him in person. Can he really be an asset to your team? [Think remotely]
Access to cloud-based collaborative tools (Slack and Trello) has made coordination easy and efficient. The efficiency of (virtual) meetings on Zoom or Skype is higher amongst remote workers. Everyone is extra sensitive to everyone's varying time zones and do not waste each other's time.
With a clear understanding of goals along with consistent feedbacks, remote work is exactly like working in a traditional office, just better.
Remote workers are proven to be more productive and efficient compared to office workers. But still, there are employees and employers who are afraid to embrace remote work because of it’s added complications. But is that really what’s best for you or your organization?
All the myths about working remotely have been proven wrong with people excelling while working remotely more and more now. Not only start-ups but even big organizations have adapted remote work and seen the positive results. The productivity of employees and the collaboration amongst the teams increases when everybody works in an organized remote environment.
Working remotely could be the best move for you or your organization. Companies have been successfully working remotely for years now. Remote work is increasing across the globe and you can learn everything about working remotely and managing a remote team. Watch experts talk about Remote Work.
Scott Hanselman, a remote worker at Microsoft, shares how he maintains a review and feedback system for his team and how it has helped in managing the team.
To learn more about efficiently manage a remote team, click here.
About the Author
I am a content writer, working remotely for the past 3 years.
I write about remote work, marketing, and analytics.