Debunking Remote Work Myths

Remote work myths should have been disproven by now. Afterall, we live in an era when approximately 52% of employed adults worldwide work from home. Yet myths still persist despite being mostly unfounded and hilariously tainted by Google images of casually dressed people lounging in bed and working on their laptops.

On the contrary, there is hard evidence that remote workers are as productive, if not, more productive than their in-office counterparts. For some business owners, the scepticism to enforce work from home arrangements stems more from not knowing how to adapt to remote work and how to manage delegated authority rather than from apprehensions surrounding productivity or logistics.

At the height of the pandemic, a majority of the workforce from all over the world adapted working from home protocols as part of government imposed lockdowns. Businesses made the call to shift to working from home in order to sustain economic activity while keeping their employees safe from the COVID-19 virus.

Still, there are businesses who have qualms about remote work. This is natural. The only way to assuage doubts is to shed light on the issues.

Here are debunked myths about remote work:

The Low Productivity Myth

The most prevalent myth is that remote workers spend more time doing other things than actually working. Business owners worry that remote workers are binge-watching, doing the laundry, sleeping, or (insert activity unrelated to work here) during company time.
Debunking with Facts:
This Stanford Business Study acknowledges that working from home “led to a 13% performance increase, of which about 9% was from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick-days) and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter working environment).”

The Needs Constant Supervision Myth

Related to the first myth, this myth plays on the fear that remote workers need to be constantly monitored as they are away from their desk (laptops/pc’s) when you need them. This means business critical tasks cannot be tended to immediately.
Debunking with Facts:
There are a lot of excellent and highly reliable employee monitoring tools available for supervisors to use to keep their work from home employees accountable for their output each day. Some even come with convenient add-ons such as time-tracking and invoicing functions.

The Data Privacy Threat Myth

Company information is a sacred resource no matter how big or small your operations are. The prevailing myth around remote work is a threat to data privacy involves transferring and keeping company data on unsecured servers.
Debunking with Facts:
These fears aren’t completely unfounded. Honestly, working from home is not for everyone. Industry matters, and for industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, construction, retail, etc., the option to work from home is not logistically possible. There is also office-based work that has to remain absolutely office based for fear of a data breach. Employees who work in cybersecurity, finance, or any department holding confidential information are bound to use secure office hardware. However, for the rest of the population of remote workers, data protection tools exist. Some examples of these tools are VPNs, key fobs, 2-factor authentication, etc. A strong BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Remote Work Policy is also essential in order to avoid data breaches.

The Erosion of Company Culture Myth

This myth states that company culture is cultivated by employees spending time in close proximity to one another.
Debunking with Facts:
What makes a company outstanding isn’t the water cooler chitchat. The simple fact is that company culture is set by leading by example. Management and executive teams set the tone for the rest of the company to adopt. A great culture is encouraged via values demonstrated by the leaders in the way they work, the way they communicate, and how they make each team member feel appreciated for their contributions.. And all that can be absolutely done remotely.

For a lot of businesses, it is no longer a question of “will this work?” but of “how can my business make this arrangement work to our advantage?” Businesses have to adapt to the changing needs of the modern workforce and the limitations of the “new normal”.

Business owners must learn to delegate tasks in order to focus on what matters: bringing in more business. This is why a virtual assistant can be a valuable asset. Otherwise, they could find themselves struggling to keep up with the times. If you need more information on the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant to work from home, schedule a discovery call today.

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