There’s no longer any doubt that remote work is here to stay. Working from home is a fantastic option if you’re searching for more flexibility in your work-life balance. But there are many misconceptions out there about what a work from home job entails. To give you a better picture of what it’s really like and to see if it might be the right fit for you, we’re debunking five common myths about remote work.
Myth #1: You’ll feel lonely and disconnected
One of the biggest misconceptions about working remotely is that you’ll be bored and lonely throughout your workday. This is based on the idea that you’re losing out on social interactions that you’d have if you were in an office. While you may have to make more of an effort to stay connected, it’s completely doable. Take advantage of remote communication tools like email, instant messaging, and video calls so you can keep in touch with others throughout the day.
Having a flexible schedule also gives you more time to do the things you want to do. You no longer have to commute, freeing up time to spend with family and friends. You can also take breaks as needed and do whatever you want during them—read, blast music, or take a walk (without worrying about disrupting your coworkers). Many companies have actually expressed higher engagement levels among their remote workforce than among their in-office employees.
Myth #2: You won’t be as productive
Working from home seems like a dream because you get to create your own schedule. But with flexibility also comes responsibility. When setting your own hours, how do you know you’re going to be as productive as if you were in an office setting? Some of this depends on you and your personality, but the good news is the facts are on your side: research has shown individuals working from home are usually more productive than their in-office counterparts (up to 13% in some companies).
A tip? Remove distractions from your home environment. For example, set up your workspace away from your bed and your kitchen so you’ll be less distracted by the desire for an afternoon nap or the promise of snacks. Develop a set routine and stick to it. Also, be sure to practice effective time management skills.
Myth #3: You won’t have the right technology
Most companies that are investing in flexible job arrangements are also investing in remote communication technology. And in that space, the market is booming. New online tools are making remote work easier than ever.
How can you make sure you’re prepared? Look for companies that are heavily investing in remote workers; you can be sure they’re likely investing in remote technologies as well. During the interview, ask what kinds of tools the company provides their remote workforce and make sure you’re comfortable with their answer before accepting the position.
Myth #4: Remote work is for everyone
Is remote work right for you? There are several personality traits and skills that successful remote workers have. Here are a few examples:
- Self-reliance and discipline – When you can create your own schedule at home, it’s up to you (and not your boss or coworkers) to stick to it. If you have enough discipline, you’ll have no problem thriving in a remote environment.
- Communication – You may need to make extra effort to communicate when working remotely, as you can no longer just pop by a manager’s desk to ask questions. Be familiar with the remote communication tools available to you and use them.
- Fast learner – You may not always get a fast response to a question you have. If you can learn quickly and independently, you’ll be set up for greater success.
There are many other skills that are beneficial for remote workers to have; be sure to research these to make sure you’re the right fit for a work from home job.
Myth #5: It’s hard to find a remote job
This may have been true a decade ago, but it’s not true now. Even before the pandemic, work from home job opportunities were growing rapidly. The latest numbers show there has been about a 140% global increase in people who work from home since 2005, and that by 2028, most departments will have remote workers. In fact, about 16% of companies employ only remote workers. These numbers are likely to go up now after many companies have switched to remote work for safety precautions during the pandemic. And they’re finding it’s good for business: remote work is usually fairly easy for companies to implement, it’s lower cost, and has a great return on investment.
Job opportunities are growing across roles as well. Traditionally, we think of remote work being for software engineers and IT professionals. In reality, you can find work from home opportunities across areas like marketing, design, finance, copywriting, other technology spaces, and more. Even if you think your skills may not translate into remote work, it doesn’t hurt to look for potential opportunities!
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