Have you heard of remote work? Or Work From Home?
I bet your ears are buzzing with talks & discussions around remote work ever since COVID-19 took over.
Remote Work was always there but it wasn’t practised as aggressively as it is now. There were digital nomads for sure who were practicing remote work willing and were making the best of their lives whereas other people watching them from distance aspired to get a glimpse at that lifestyle well not anymore.
Because for the past several months we have been embracing the remote work culture.
Some are loving it while others are hating it. Some corporations have seen amazing results so amazing that they have taken the decision to go remote forever.
The number one enemy that kills the drive towards remote work is the misconceptions that float around.
Remote Work Reduces Productivity: I have had a good laugh hearing this misconception that remote work reduces productivity. Still not sure if remote work, productivity and reductions can go in the same sentence.
But for what it’s worth, let’s speculate things.
How do you define productivity? The amount of revenue output an individual employee is responsible for should outweigh the remuneration he receives.
Elon Musk said it best: “You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve” that’s what productivity is which firms intend to obtain.
If productivity has reduced then that reveals a crucial flaw in the system wherein some players are reliant on others whereas some are claiming victory for other’s efforts.
The reason why contrarily remote work is found productive is simply because in remote work there are very distractions, workplace banter, time isn’t wasted on unproductive aspects like commute which does tend to boost productivity not to mention that employees for the first time in their life have the liberty of working from a place where they feel same & grounded.
Remote Workers Are Out of Contact: This misconception could have been true only if we were living in prehistoric times.
The dawn of technology has opened up doors for seamless communication & connectivity.
Corporations are using virtual offices to set up the business and are ensuring the usage of tools like videoconferencing, group communication, email communication and other complementing modes of communication that cannot obstruct the flow of communication.
All one needs is dedication, discipline, and centralized attitude towards achieving goals.
Setting up agendas like having a morning group call with all colleagues and being available when your teammate needs you are some simple things that will ensure that remote workers are always available for contact.
Remote Work Means Your Business Data is Unsafe: There is worry among corporations that passing business information across different servers makes the data vulnerable for attacks and theft.
This is simply not true. Technology has advanced to an extent where things like these can be safeguarded to an incredible extent.
Even the simple Google Spreadsheet that we use from our company G-Suite is quite safe as G-Suite offers options to make the business data secure and safe for accessibility.
This is a very simple example of how the data remains safe even when it is transferred and accessed from different locations.
Just imagine how secure your data would be if you leverage advanced cloud products like Microsoft Azure that offer data security & encryption.
So you can feel free to cross off this misconception from your long list.
Meetings Are Ineffective: Meetings serve the purpose of communication and convey the message both ways as effectively as possible.
In fact, it has been found that meetings have been more effective taking place with remote tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom , Skype etc.
These tools are absolute lifesaver meetings that can be conducted with these tools in a very effective manner, with advanced features like sharing screens to demonstrate or present a presentation.
At once many people can join the meeting and get things done.
Remote Workers Are Lonely: Working remotely does not mean that you are held up in a tiny cell where you are being suffocated, working remotely instead gives you more flexibility than ever.
You can sit at any corner of your home to do the work. In fact, kick it up a notch, go to coffee shops, and work from there if you want to tweak mood settings a little bit.
Work while sipping coffee from your favorite coffee place. There are theme-based coffee shops whose ambiance is stimulating in ways that offer you the quiet space you need to work.
The library is another great option for you to go to work.
Remote Work Increases Costs: This has to be the greatest misconception of remote work.
Remote work has been found to rather reduce the costs dramatically that’s the part of the reason why companies are actually considering going remote full time.
Let’s understand this. With remote work taking place, companies no longer have to pay hefty rents for the workspaces, no need to pay for WiFi, Electricity, travel accommodation in certain cases.
On the employees’ end, remote work decreases costs that would have been otherwise incurred upon commuting (in big cities this can cost a fortune), expenses incurred upon formal attire. If you’re a parent with a child and both are working then a separate expense needs to be incurred upon hiring and paying a nanny.
The potential for savings is remarkable.
Company Culture Suffers: This is true to a certain degree, the camaraderie that once existed between co-workers can weaken in the work from home culture.
But water cooler gossips and banter are not what makes the foundation of a great work culture. What makes a great work culture is employees being there for each other, addressing the needs of the other and treating each other with respect and admiration.
Subtle tweaks in communication can ensure that communication gaps do not persist.
There are ways that even remote work can remain collaborative and fun.
Companies can arrange for virtual coffee dates where work isn’t discussed. Things like this do not multiply the revenue but it shows employees that you care about them are there for them and that your relationship with them exceeds beyond just getting things done.