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Is Your Business Ready to Go Remote: Busting the Top 5 Remote Worker Myths

Is Your Business Ready to Go Remote: Busting the Top 5 Remote Worker Myths

As an increasing number of large and small American businesses grapple with the prospect of managing a remote workforce, business owners need to know the facts.  They need to know, for example, if remote workers are as productive as their office-bound counterparts.  And they want to understand how best to manage and engage employees they don’t see face-to-face every day.

MUCH OF WHAT YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT REMOTE WORKERS ISN’T TRUE

These are reasonable concerns, but the fact is, remote workers (on average) are both more cost-effective and more engaged in their work than onsite workers.

As HubSpot correctly points out, effectively leveraged, a remote workforce can save your business money while maintaining robust productivity:

“…although more traditional employee s might worry that remote employees aren’t as productive as their in-office counterparts, this work style is being implemented more heavily around the world because it provides so many benefits to employees and companies.  Not only do remote workers save companies money, but remote work opportunities increase job retention and allow employers to globally hire diverse or innovative employees that they couldn’t have otherwise due to location limitations.”

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS

For most business owners, remote worker management at the scale necessary to keep their companies thriving is new.  And as is often the case with new information, partial truths and outright myths abound.  While we can’t cover every piece of disinformation “out there” in this short space, we can point to the most pervasive and detrimental myths about remote workers, including the following 5:

1.  REMOTE WORKERS SLACK OFF

False.  A host of recent studies demonstrate unequivocally that remote workers are more, not less, productive.  In one of those studies, more than 75% of remote workers stated they are more productive than they were at their place of business.  Most also report they work longer hours.  One could argue that, of course, workers will always claim to be productive.  Importantly, business owners agree that their workers get more done weekly when they’re working from home.

2.  REMOTE WORKERS ARE ISOLATED AND LONELY

This belief is misleading.  It’s true businesses which aren’t adequately prepared to keep their employees engaged virtually could experience this problem.  In general, however, more thoughtful businesses are easily able to provide myriad opportunities for employees to connect with their supervisor and fellow workers.  This typically involves tactics like regularly scheduled meetings (for example, through Zoom) and video coffee chats.

3.  REMOTE WORKERS WON’T STAY AT THEIR DESKS

This myth is demonstrably false.  Almost every analysis of the subject has concluded that remote workers are no more likely than onsite workers to stay (working) at their desks throughout their work shift.  That’s because businesses that understand managing remote workers explain the “rules of the road,” clearly and persuasively.  They also exhort their remote workers to speak with friends and family members about what’s permitted in the home office, and what isn’t.

4.  REMOTE WORKERS ARE TOO HARD TO MANAGE

For some business owners, remote workers are less of a concern than remote managers.  Again, the solution comes down to effective planning and technology.  Using many of the same technologies that keep workers engaged, remote managers can be as effective—in some instances, more effective—compared to managers in the workplace.

5.  REMOTE WORKERS WILL PUSH “WORK-LIFE BALANCE” TO THE LIMIT

It’s true than some remote workers initially see their new freedom as a license to make use of a gym membership or take better care of their families’ needs.  The fact is, once employees are actually working from home, the lion’s share finds they have no more time for such pursuits than they did in the office.  Equally important, managers have access to many of the same safeguards that ensure continuing productivity while their employees work from home

IN CONCLUSION

Successful empowering and monitoring a remote workforce can make your business more productive and profitable.  But it can also be both confusing and complicated, especially if this your first go at remote worker management.  That’s where we can help.  To learn more about the ways our virtual bench talent services can help you achieve your top objectives—and take your business to the next level—schedule a call with us today.