When you often think about remote working, you picture someone sitting on their laptop surrounded by nature completely nonplussed at data security laws. Or, at least stock photos tell us this.
Most remote workers can be found holed up in cafes wondering if they should buy another cup of coffee out of politeness. Or they’re at home, trying to juggle important business meetings with a family life. Remember Professor Robert Kelly on BBC News?
Nor are they extreme introverts who like darkness and self-isolate themselves on a daily basis for fun. Remote workers are members of staff who fit work around their life, not life around their work.
Although many traditional employers believe working out of the office decreases staff productivity levels, remote working is being encouraged in the UK because of the benefits it brings employers and employees.
With this in mind, ITEC has decided to debunk some of the biggest remote working myths we’ve heard.
Myth 1: Remote Working Encourages Laziness
The origin of this myth is pretty obvious. With no boss or colleague physically near them, remote workers can slack off with little consequence.
However, the opposite is true. Most remote workers actually work longer hours, especially as they’re likely working from home and don’t have to beat rush hour traffic.
This often happens because remote workers struggle drawing a line between work and home. It’s too easy to pick up a laptop to complete a quick task, only to finish after dinner time.
Also, most staff members dislike working in the office as project deadlines hit. They would prefer to work from home where they can't be distracted by the Love Island drama.
Myth 2: Remote Workers Get Distracted Easily
As working from home is the most popular form of remote working, it is widely believed that remote workers will spend time babysitting, cleaning the house or walking the dog. In reality, most successful remote working employees compartmentalise their working and personal lives.
It’s true that some family and friends will think anyone working out of their office has more free time, but it looks like most are able to lay ground rules. Most remote workers have dedicated work spaces and times. They’re not typing while lying in bed, often setting stricter working rules than their in-office colleagues.
Myth 3: Remote Workers Are Unreachable
Mentioned above, many people believe people who work from home are unsociable hermits. We already know this isn’t true, and modern business technology means remote workers can be reached at any time at any place.
Anyone working from home as their favourite communication channel. Most contact their teammates through email, followed by instant messaging and video chat.
You can establish virtual connections between team members with software like Microsoft Teams. Permanent remote workers should have virtual coffee chats and catch-ups with other members of their team.
Myth 4: Remote Working Creates Bad Management
As a manager, you might think working remotely will make managing harder. Most traditional employers think the same. However, ask yourself this: how often are you in the office? One fifth of senior management members spend most of their working remotely.
We know that remote working is more than just working from home. It’s about being able to work from anywhere. This includes a customer’s meeting room, answering calls while pulled over in a service station and, if you’re lucky, solving problems while getting through airport security!.
With modern collaboration tools connecting workers across the country, successfully managing a remote team is simple.
Enabling Remote Working in Your Business
When it comes to remote working, there are a lot of studies and stories debunking remote working myths.
As you can tell, the idea that remote working decreases productivity is false. As a manager looking to introduce remote working to your business, or someone looking for tips about getting the most out of your staff, keep checking ITEC's blog for more remote working pointers.
Employees and employers benefit from work-from-home strategies as remote workers can refresh their minds, work more flexibly and save the employer money in the long run.
If you’re looking to introduce remote working into your organisation, contact ITEC for a quick non-obligatory chat...