While there are some myths that worry employers about working remotely, you can view them as an opportunity to learn new ways to improve your company culture.
Photo courtesy Grovemade via Unsplash
Commuting used to be an expected part of a career, but not anymore. During the global pandemic, more people than ever started working from home, and experts estimate that remote working could continue for two years before office employment returns to pre-pandemic levels. With that in mind, we blew up Eight remote work myths for employers worried about how it could affect their team and their future.
1. Collaboration is easier in person
It makes sense to assume that collaboration is much easier when everyone is at the same table. There’s nothing stopping people from expressing themselves, coming up with ideas, or feeling involved in the conversation. While this seems like the obvious conclusion, the recent trend towards remote working has proven this to be wrong.
The digital world offers many tools for solving remote collaboration problems. Employers can use free programs and websites to make team members easier to connect. Options like sharing calendars with Calendly, optimizing video conferencing with Zoom, and suggesting Google Workspace for collaboration tools give everyone equal access to what they need to do their jobs.
2. The corporate culture will decline
People tend to commit to their jobs when the corporate culture helps them to be successful. Employers often think that the culture disappears when people are not in the office for team building events, exercises, and meetings. The truth is, many of the same activities can take place online.
Host Icebreaker conversations via video or use digital presentations to remind people how their work strengthens the culture that drives positive change. Everyone will still feel included and strengthen the bond with their colleagues without going to the office in person.
3. Productivity will slow down
It’s easy to assume that if no one looks over an employee’s shoulder to make sure they’re doing their job, productivity will drop. Watching TV or running errands can seem like a better alternative to work when your boss isn’t around. However, a recent study found that remote workers worked 30 hours or 1.4 days more at home than in the office each month.
Employees can focus more effectively without distractions like phones ringing or meetings taking them away from their desks. It enables employees, for example, to speed up recruiting teams, onboarding or offboarding processes by using digital solutions such as electronic signatures in order to avoid sending paperwork back and forth.
Team members can use their faster home WiFi to upload large projects or find digital documents quickly, as they don’t have to search through filing cabinets.
The productivity level is more likely to increase when companies allow employees to stay remotely. It was a surprising result of teams forced to work from home during the pandemic, but it may still benefit employers who don’t give in to the myth that personal work is the only way to stay on the job .
4. Digital security is weakened
Employers are often concerned that their companies will have less digital security when everyone uses different Wi-Fi networks. Your IT teams are unable to personally troubleshoot problems or guarantee the security of every network. Sensitive data should remain secure no matter where a team member connects to the Internet, but that doesn’t have to be a new risk when employees work from home.
Cloud-based applications make it easier for IT teams to monitor employee systems and increase data security. A simple step like investing in a virtual private network (VPN) hides an employee’s private IP address, creating a secure tunnel for accessing, downloading, or uploading sensitive information.
IT teams can also require double authentication logins and set up encrypted communication tools to provide backup security for an employee’s home firewalls. There are numerous ways to protect your company’s files and the activities of your team members without anyone’s physical location compromising your security.
5. Employee engagement takes a nosedive
When people don’t feel committed, they are less committed to their work. Home isolation could lead to this finding, but research proves otherwise. Survey responses show that 58 percent of teleworkers would quit if they had to return to an office full-time. They would much rather stay in their remote positions than find traditional jobs elsewhere.
It’s not hard to see why people prefer to keep their remote jobs. Working from home helps parents spend more time with their children, allows more flexibility on maternity or paternity leave, and gives people the freedom to use their time as they see fit. Employers will significantly reduce their turnover rates by allowing employees to continue working remotely.
6. There is no quality communication
Total reliance on electronic communications is one of the myths that employers worry about remote working. They believe that face-to-face communication leads to better quality results because people are less likely to misunderstand each other. Still, there is always the risk that someone will misinterpret someone else’s tone of voice or body language, so that the familiarity of communication in the office obscures the remaining potential for problems.
People often find that written communication improves their professional success. When everyone has written words to think about when problems arise, things are easy to sort out and fix. Reminders aren’t as reliable as a saved email or a recorded video conference.
7. It is more expensive to employ teleworkers
If you read of myths that remote workers are less engaged and less productive, you might assume that keeping them on your payroll is more expensive. If you’re constantly paying to hire new team members to replace people who can’t add to the workplace or increase sales, it makes sense to cut home office positions.
Experts agree that teleworkers actually save their employers money. When companies allow their team members to work from home for half of their schedule, employers save up to $ 11,000 per person for a number of reasons. People are happier to work from home, so they stay longer in their jobs. Employers can also downsize their office space and lower monthly parking permit fees.
Staying home all the time could double your employer’s savings. It’s a significant way for business owners to save money while retaining their talented team members.
8. Remote workers get lonely
Managers want the best for their employees, including their mental health. You may fear that your employees will be able to cope with overwhelming loneliness if they cannot interact face-to-face with their co-workers every day. While it is true that some people feel isolated from home at work, employers can easily mitigate this effect of remote employment.
To address this, you could offer remote workers a monthly grant so that they can rent coworking spaces near their home and meet other team members. You could also host weekly virtual events so everyone can hang out after work, such as quiz nights. Loneliness won’t be a problem when people know they have upcoming opportunities to make memories with their co-workers.
Break the myths about remote work
While there are some myths that worry employers about working remotely, you can view them as an opportunity to learn new ways to improve your company culture. Reading the research behind the broken myths and finding ways to build team connections are just a few ways to keep your employees happy while maintaining your remote positions.
View all newsletters