What are the biggest misconceptions about remote work?
12 July 2019
Remote work might not be a new concept, but as we have discussed already, it is becoming more popular among both employers and employees. With an abundance of career paths offering remote work opportunities, it is not surprising that there would be a lot of misconceptions with regards to both employees and employers. In this blog installment, we will discuss the ones we come across fairly often and offer our viewpoint on them.
Relationship between colleagues is non-existent
This particular misconception is interesting, given the fact we live in the century of digitalization. We, as a remote company, have heard people express their beliefs that as a remote employee you do not have a relationship with your colleagues and are not a part of the culture of the company. Moreover, because of that, you do not have to go through the same issues with colleagues as a on-site employee would.
Although it is possible that this is the case in some organisations, we would express that it could not be further from the truth in our case. We still make an effort to get familiar with the people we work with, and we communicate multiple times a day with each other. This does mean that we run into the same issues with each other as any on-site colleagues would.
You are at home all day so you do not actually do any work
If I could, I would like to see a show of hands from any remote employee who has ever heard this one. As we talked about recently, being a successful remote employee does require some self-exploring and also some trial and error until you are aware of your personal style and your pitfalls. However, essentially it is the same as with any other work situation, minus the commute to the workplace. Even if you work remotely, you are still required to do certain tasks and provide certain results, or you would risk losing your job. Given it is possible to have more free time if you are more efficient, it is still just as “hard” and important as an on-site job, it is just done in a different manner.
You are working all the time
Completely the opposite of the previous point, some people do believe that since your job can be done from the computer, phone or tablet, this would mean that you are always expected to be responsive and work ready. Admittedly, this can very easily be the case with any “regular” job as well, but in any case, it is connected predominantly to the organisation in question rather than the style of work. Most remote organisations have a work schedule which can be set completely or flexible, and any overtime is usually communicated and agreed upon. From our own experience and what we have heard from others, vacations and days off are just the same as in traditional organisations.
You never leave the house
This last one is a bit of a strange one but we have heard it being said. It is also something that needs to be thought over if you are a person looking for your first remote job, in my opinion. For a lot of people being social or keeping active and healthy is the same with a traditional or a remote job. However, if you fall into the trap of staying at home all day and not using your social skills, try and make going out for a walk or going for a run before work a part of your routine.
Employers whose team works remotely have it easier
As we have written about before, being a remote employer does have its share of advantages. The costs of hiring remotely are significantly lower, you can employ talent from virtually anywhere so long as the communication runs smoothly and, the same as being a remote employee, you are able to work from home or while traveling. Because of these, there is a big misconception that remote employers have it easier. However, we have previously written that being one means you have to put more effort into communication, learn a different approach to security and work on creating an organisational culture in a different way than a traditional manager would. In reality, traditional employers and remote ones have to put a lot of effort into their roles, and each of these have their advantages and disadvantages.
In conclusion, remote work is not that different than traditional work. Most of the misconceptions about it, in our experience, are either misunderstandings of what remote work entails or are challenges that the individual needs to find their own solution to. One thing is for certain, with remote work being on the rise, it will be even more important to discuss and clear some of the misunderstandings out there.
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Written by Trayana Milcheva. I am the newest addition to the RemoteMore team. I became interested in remote work during my HR studies and am pleased to have the opportunity to work with such aspiring young entrepreneurs.