Remote working (or working from home) has become more popular than ever before. Although this is not a new trend, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the shift towards a remote working model in spite of the reluctance of many companies. Now that we are in a post-pandemic world, and remote work was proven that it can be successful, a high percentage of employees desire to make the shift to working from home permanent. So, why are there still many companies that do not accept remote work?
Read on to find out seven common work-from-home myths and what the truth actually looks like.
Myth #1: Employees working from home won't be as productive.
One of the biggest misconceptions about working from home is that employees will be less productive when they are not at the office. However, this has been noticed to be far from the truth as many have reported an increase in productivity. For many, being at home in a quieter and more comfortable environment without any office-related distractions proves to be a more productive environment. This is not to say that there won't be employees who try and take advantage of remote working. However, rather than dismissing the remote work model entirely, organisations should implement strategies to manage it.
Myth #2: Remote work requires a lot of tech support and equipment.
As with every business, an initial investment is always necessary when starting out. This also applies to implementing a remote work model; computers and peripherals, communication software as well as cloud storage are necessities, however, they are no different than when the work is being done at the office.
Myth #3: Collaboration can only be done face-to-face
It is often believed that face-to-face interaction is necessary in fostering new ideas and collaboration amongst colleagues. However, a virtual team is still a team nonetheless. Similar to when in an office environment, line managers are responsible for organising virtual meetings to brain storm new ideas, planning term goals and ultimately, building a collaborative spirit and team cooperation. Working from home might even lead to more creativity than one would expect; some people might find it harder to openly discuss their ideas in person and therefore, sharing their ideas online through digital channels would come easier to them.
Myth #4: There is no accountability in remote work.
Working at an office might give line managers a more direct line into tracking their employees' work; they can visually see the employees work and from time to time, they can visit their desks and record daily progress. When remote working is implemented, this practice is not as direct. However, performance outputs can still be tracked and employees are still held accountable for their work. With the right tools, the process can even become easier than when done in-person.
Myth #5: Employee engagement and communication suffers
Nowadays, digital communication channels are able to compensate for face-to-face office chatting. Frequent communication through Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc. allows employees to interact and continue building on their relationships. Such platforms allow users to communicate via video conferencing and also instant messaging, thus, employees can stay in constant touch with one another and communicate effectively.
Myth #6: It's easier than working at an office
Although working remotely might offer a more comfortable environment to work in and certain aspects are indeed easier, it boils down to the fact that the actual work still remains the same. When working from home, one would need to be more disciplined and determined. Where in the office, an employee can visually appear productive by shuffling papers and typing away at their desk, when working from home it is the output that counts.
Myth #7: Remote employees have a flexible schedule.
Remote working and flexibility are two different things. Some may assume that working from home gives the liberty of finishing tasks and spending the rest of day doing nothing. The truth is, that working from home is a job like any other office job without having to be physically at the office. This means that working hours are still to be observed. Thus, unless there are arrangements in place that also offer the employee flexible working hours, remote working still does not offer as much flexibility as one would assume.
Don't let myths about remote working practice hold you back from offering remote working opportunities to your employees. It might help you enhance productivity and improve employee satisfaction, thus increasing the motivation and dedication employees put in their work.
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