As telecommuting grows in popularity and prevalence, the misconceptions and myths associated with telecommuting grow as well. If you’ve never worked remotely, you might not be able to discern fact from fiction when it comes to the realities of telecommuting. Let’s debunk the seven biggest myths of remote work once and for all so you can know the truth about telecommuting.
Myth #1: Anyone Can Work from Home
I think it’s easy to idealize working from home. If you’re not a telecommuter, you probably have far-fetched dreams of lounging around in your pajamas and escaping office politics. However, in reality, remote work might not be the answer for you simply because telecommuting isn’t for everyone. If you’re a social butterfly, the isolation of remote work might be too much for you to handle. If you’re easily distracted, the lure of the fridge and the constant barrage of sidetracking stimuli just might negatively impact your productivity.
Myth #2: You Make Your Own Schedule
You might think that remote work means calling all the shots, but let’s be real, the remote worker still leads a life dictated by the calendar. Especially if you work on a team with remote workers dispersed across several time zones, managing your respective calendars and finding meeting times that are convenient for everyone can be a challenge.
Myth #3: Remote Workers Don’t Get Any Work Done
Contrary to popular belief, studies about remote work have proven that productivity actually increases when workers make the switch from the office to telecommuting. For many people, removing the social chit chat of the office means a far more productive work day free of distraction.
In fact, in a study conducted by Telework Research Network, it was found that 86 percent of telecommuters say they are more productive from their home office. Additionally, in another telecommuting survey conducted by Staples, remote workers were shown to produce 43 percent more business volume than their in-office counterparts.
Myth #4: Working from Home Means Only Working from Home
The beauty of telecommuting is that “working from home” doesn’t have to mean working out of your physical house. Personally, I work better when I get to mix up my surroundings often. Telecommuting is a perfect way for me to try out new coffee shops and change up the scenery to better assist my workflow. Telecommuters can tailor their work location to their own personal preference and ensure maximized productivity in the process.
Myth #5: Meetings Aren’t As Productive If They’re Not Face-to-Face
You might think that face-to-face meetings are the most productive and efficient way to get stuff done, and that virtual meetings don’t hold a candle to in-person gatherings. In reality, meeting in a virtual space can be just as productive as a meeting in the office thanks to video conferencing tools. Virtual meetings are also more flexible to work around time constraints, conflicting schedules and differing time zones.
Myth #6: Remote Work Is Just for Tech Savvy People
To be out of the office but still virtually present might seem like a possibility only available to savvy tech junkies, however, that’s simply not the case these days. With a whole host of user-friendly audio and video conferencing software at you finger-tips, you only need minimal technical know-how to connect with your colleagues and collaborate with your team.
Myth #7: Telecommuters are Couch Potatoes
You might imagine that telecommuting is all couch lounging and internet browsing, but remote workers know that, when it comes to productive telecommuting, structure is key. In order to maintain some separation between work and home life, many remote workers prefer to adhere to set a schedule and working from a pre-defined home office space rather than taking their meetings from their lounge chair.
While myths about telecommuting abound, there’s one truth about remote work that you need to remember. Telecommuting facilitates a better work/life balance for employees, which ultimately leads to happier, more productive employees. For more on the benefits of remote work, check out our eBook, “The Yin and Yang of Telecommuting.”