The number of remote workers is on the rise and has been for quite some time now, with half of the UK workforce expected to work remotely by 2020 according to smallbusiness.co.uk.
Yet despite these unyielding changes to the way we work, there are certain misconceptions, myths and presumptions that remote workers still can’t seem to shake.
Here are some of the most commonly held myths surrounding remote working:
Communication with Remote Workers is More Difficult
One of the biggest worries for companies considering remote working arrangements is that communication between clients and other employees will suffer. But there’s rarely reason for concern. For telecommuters, communication becomes more focused and there’s less room to get distracted from the matter at hand. This is particularly true in video/conference calls vs. traditional office meetings with employees where there’s perhaps less urgency to answer questions and raise any possible issues when everyone’s working under the same roof.
Remote Workers Miss Out On Office Culture
Just because you work remotely, doesn’t mean that you’re required to spend all your working days spent in an office or a study alone. One of the greatest advantages of remote working is that you can work anywhere where there’s a good internet connection – provided your employer has set you up with the necessary equipment and tools. This includes coffee shops, coworking spaces, libraries and business centres. To prevent employees feeling isolated, some businesses encourage their remote workers to seek out local networking groups where they can enjoy face-to-face interaction with other workers whilst spreading the word about their business.
Remote Workers Are Less Productive
Some assume that just because someone’s not physically ‘clocking in and out’ of the office that they’re sat at home in front of the TV or out shopping – and because of this they’re much less productive during the working day. But as most will testify, remote workers tend to follow a similar working schedule as their colleagues and are available for just as many hours during the day. What’s more, according to a YouGov study, 30% of UK office workers are more productive when working remotely.
They Work Longer Hours
On the other end of the spectrum, employees considering asking for a remote working agreement might be put off by another common myth that remote workers end up working longer hours than their traditional office-dwelling counterparts. As we mentioned above, in most cases, remote workers opt to work a similar working day as their colleagues so any expectation to be available outside of these hours should be addressed with the employer. However, in some cases, remote workers desperate to prove the previously discussed myth as wrong may admit to buckling on this one due to self-inflicted pressures.
Remote Workers Stay in Their Pyjamas All Day
We’re told by many people who choose to carry out their remote working from home that this one’s a myth too. We’re inclied to agree with this as in our experience, it’s also quite rare for any of the workers who choose to The Workstation as a base, to turn up for a day’s work in their night gear.
But should this trend change, we’ll be sure to let you know.