7 Remote Work Myths Debunked - Sun and Co. | The home to location independent workers

Remote work is here to stay, and it will profoundly impact our professional and personal lives in the years to come. So it’s time to debunk a few of the most rooted remote work myths that are still around today.

Researches and practical experiences have proved that while the transition from office work to remote work may be a little challenging for many, there is no doubt that the pros of remote work outweigh its negatives.

Sun and Co. has been welcoming digital nomads and remote workers for over 5 years. Having hosted more than 400 hundred guests in our coliving space, we have seen the reality of remote work in practice every day since 2015.

We feel there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions these days around remote work and what it really means to work remotely, so we have decided to debunk some of them in this article.

remote work misconceptions debunked

Remote Work Facts

More and more employees are working in remote positions, either full-time or at least a few days of the week. Companies are also embracing this growing trend, increasingly using flexible work options as a way to retain and attract top employees.

Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics

Analyzing the current situation, a lot of organizations are allowing employees to work from home for safety reasons. This is certainly not an easy process for many, but due to the benefits i.e. flexibility, mobility, and financial stability, people are quickly adopting it.

For some, not having an actual physical office to work from might mean a low success rate when executing tasks as a team. However, this is not necessarily true as you only need dedication, rules to strictly follow, and the skills and mindset to work in an environment different from an office.

Check out our previous article: How To Work Remotely And Still Be Productive.

Top 7 Remote Work Myths

What are the most common misconceptions around Remote Work?

Myth #1: Remote employees have no contact with their colleagues
Myth #2: Remote work is dangerous for data privacy
Myth #3: Working remotely and/or working from home increases costs
Myth #4: Remote workers fail to deliver on time
Myth #5: Remote work ruins company culture
Myth #6: Working remotely and/or working from home means too many distractions
Myth #7: Remote work is lonely (and boring)

Myth #1: Remote employees have no contact with their colleagues

One popular remote work myth is that you have little or no contact with your colleagues.

For some people, this is no problem at all. If you like to work alone, then you would probably enjoy being away from everyone else and get work done without having any eyes on you. Whether they are your supervisor’s, manager’s, or your office mates’.

However, if you feel you are missing office banter and coffee breaks, that’s when you need to be proactive in order to avoid feeling lonely while working from home.

myths of working remotely

The good news is that today there are a ton of ad-hoc team solutions like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Whereby, and many others that can provide you with the communication channel you need to directly get in touch with your team.

So with a little practice (and willingness to), remote workers will have no issues connecting and communicating with their team members.

Myth #2: Remote work is dangerous for data privacy

Another remote work myth is linked to cybersecurity. And while it’s true that remote workers can potentially expose businesses to significant cybersecurity risks while working from home, this is easily avoidable with a good cyber and network security system in place.

Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google all have their remote employees using secure networks. So if your remote team uses reliable software and trustworthy technology that has high-level security and data encryption (such as a VPN) you won’t need to worry about people on your network intercepting your company’s data.

Read more in this post: 5 Cybersecurity Tips For Remote Workers.

Myth #3: Working remotely and/or working from home increases costs

Many people think that being able to work from home means you have to spend a lot of money to get everything set up for being productive, just like in the office

However, it doesn’t actually have to cost a great deal. In fact, working from your home or working remotely from anywhere else you decide to be would probably cost you a lot less than it would if you were to go to work in an office every day!

According to FlexJobs, 90% of employees say allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules would increase employee morale, while 77% say allowing employees to work remotely may lead to lower operating costs.

Of course, there are other costs involved to be able to work remotely from home, or even from a coworking and/or coliving space, but this cost is commonly a lot lower than the cost of working in an office full-time (think commuting, meals, coffees etc.).

Check out this article for tips on how to set up your productive home office:

Myth #4: Remote workers fail to deliver on time

A.k.a. remote employees aren’t productive, hence they need to be monitored and kept in check.

Many people still believe that working from home equals lounging in bed and binging on Netflix during working hours. Of course, this is a possibility when nobody is looking. But, thankfully, it is almost never the standard across remote teams or companies.

Exceptions aside, most employees recognize that remote work is a privilege that comes with a lot of benefits, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to make remote work successful. 

What’s more, most employees find that they’re actually more productive when they’re in control of their days.

Proper communication of the company goals, project milestones, and other vital tasks can help to create a sense of responsibility in remote employees, motivating them to work and deliver on time. 

And if that’s not enough, the plethora of time tracking solutions and project monitoring apps have made it easy to track the status and efficiency of projects and follow up in case someone in the team is falling behind.

myths of working remotely

Myth #5: Remote work ruins company culture

The next myth many people still believe true is that remote work may lead to a negative impact on the company culture. The idea behind this misconception is that company culture is driven by people spending time in the same space and interacting with each other.

In reality, though, company culture falls within the management and executive teams’ responsibility to set the tone that the rest of the company will adopt.

With the future of work inevitably leading to more companies having remote employees and more people being brought on to teams so they can work from anywhere in the world, it’s vital to have the right tactics in place to make sure company culture remains strong across remote teams.

Organizing team retreats at least once a year to get employees to connect face-to-face, or encouraging remote teams to connect on video calls regularly can be easy to implement solutions to foster company culture.

Learn more about how a 100% remote company like Hanno fosters team culture both within its employees and its external clients: 3 Ways To Improve Team Culture by Hanno.

Myth #6: Working remotely and/or working from home means too many distractions

Working from your home might mean you are more exposed to distractions such as easy access to TV, Netflix, games, social media… you name it! Not to mention kids wanting to play, in case you are a working-from-home parent.

Despite many people still believing in this remote work myth, studies consistently show that the majority of remote workers tend to be more productive in their home office than in a traditional workplace.

While it’s true that working parents are the ones that are struggling the most from distractions while working at home, it’s also true that with the right adjustments all of us can at least control the environment where we are working these days, making sure it’s as optimized and productive as possible.

misconceptions around remote work

Myth #7: Remote work is lonely (and boring)

Here’s the thing: physical distancing – or working remotely – doesn’t have to equal loneliness! A certain degree of feeling lonely from time to time is normal for everyone, not just remote workers. But this is far from saying remote work causes loneliness – or has to be boring!

There are a few, easy steps you can take to avoid loneliness when working from home, or from different locations around the world. The key is to stay connected to other people as much as possible.

When you’re not physically sharing a space with other humans you have to be proactive to feel connected. Luckily, the variety of communication apps these days make it easy to do so.

For example, video calls can be a very effective way to maintain a sense of connection with your teammates, as they provide a facsimile of in-person interactions. Think body language, facial expressions, and all those details that make online conversations more real.

And when you get tired of video calls, remember these days there are a lot of options available for remote workers that want to connect and feel part of a like-minded community of people. So if you are starting to feel lonely, why not consider joining a coworking/coliving space like Sun and Co.?

Or check out the best coliving spaces in Spain for more inspiration.

book your stay at sun and co

Conclusion: Avoiding Remote Work Myths

When it comes to remote work, there are plenty of studies and first-hand employee stories that debunk most of the worst myths out there. We have just debunked 7 remote work myths, but there are plenty more out there that you will probably come across sooner or later.

Most people will agree that there are plenty of advantages to working remotely, but of course like everything worth pursuing it doesn’t come without some effort.

We hope this article will help you exercise your critical thinking and go beyond all the misconceptions that might otherwise discourage you from working remotely.

About the co-author: Nooria Khan is a tech-savvy software engineer turned blogger. She has been featured in media outlets like Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, Business2Community. She always keeps a journal and a cat by her side, and the only time she doesn’t play it safe is when she’s writing. Connect with Nooria on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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