8 Myths About Remote Work Standing In the Way of Your Dream Job
Are you scared of leaving your traditional office role for a remote position? Learn the truth about these common misconceptions and stop making excuses.
Have you ever considered applying for a remote position?
Don’t think the pros of working remotely outweigh the supposed downsides?
Many people don’t know the whole truth about what it’s like to telecommute or work from home.
But in today’s post, you’ll see why eight of the negatives associated with remote work are nothing more than common misconceptions.
You may even realize you’ve been using one (or more) of these preconceived notions as an excuse to stay in your dead-end job instead of searching for a better one.
So let’s start with one of the biggest myths first: that remote work is actually on the decline.
#1. Companies Don’t Like or Hire Remote Workers
Almost 4 million people currently work remotely — a 115% increase since 2005[*].
Companies big and small love hiring remote workers and the telecommuting market has grown almost 10x more than any other employment sector because[*]:
- Remote workers save an estimated $20,000 per employee in operating expenses. Without costs like a desk, office, electricity, supplies, snacks, company car, and other in-office perks, telecommuters are valuable, cost-efficient members of the team.
- Remote workers are 13% more productive and efficient compared to in-office workers in the same roles.
Now, you may think saving a company money means remote workers have lower salaries, but that’s also not true.
#2. Remote Workers Earn Less Money
The average remote employee in the U.S. does not have to take a pay cut just to work from home (or the coffee shop or beach).
In fact, remote workers earn $4,000 more per year than in-office employees, on average, according to recent reports[*].
And stats from the Global Workplace Analytics show 75% of employees who work remotely earn over $65,000 per year, which puts them in the upper 80th percentile of all employees, home or office-based[*].
Maybe that’s why many older employees who’ve been tied to long, expensive commutes and soul-crushing cubicles for years are finally making the switch to remote work.
If that comes as a surprise, you probably also believe the next myth.
#3. Only Millennials Work Remotely
You may believe the telecommuting niche skews slightly younger since it relies on mobile technology, but compared to just 41% of the traditional workforce, stats show half of all remote workers are over the age of 45[*].
The flexible schedule, higher salary, and work-from-anywhere ease of telecommuting make it an attractive option for employees of all ages.
Parents of young or busy children, caregivers of senior relatives, spouses of retired employees, and those with other roles and responsibilities can all take advantage of the freedom remote work offers.
It also allows older employees to stay in the workforce longer and continue to fund their retirement.
But just because remote work isn’t restricted by age, it does take a certain type of person to be successful.
#4. Anyone Can Work Remotely
While it may be easy to find the remote job that’s right for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the right type of person for remote work.
The best remote workers know how to:
- Stay disciplined and stick to a schedule. You need to get your work done and meet deadlines without coworkers or supervisors over your shoulder.
- Communicate frequently with the team, managers, and homebase using messaging tools like Slack, Trello, Skype, etc.
- Make tough decisions alone since the rest of team may live in a different timezone and tasks cannot wait to get done.
Telecommuters often work on weekends too. Does that mean they have no work/home life balance?
#5. You’re Always On The Clock When You Work Remotely
This one is a bit tricky because it’s technically true and false.
See, certain telecommuting positions require employees to clock in for set hours of time during the day — or at least be in contact during those hours.
However, may positions allow employees to work their own schedules as long as they get their work done by certain deadlines and stay in touch often.
If you think it will be difficult to separate your work and home life, you may want to set a strict schedule, only work in specific areas of your house, or set up other rituals to designate the start and end of your work day.
Your work/home life balance is all up to you.
To get out of the house and create a clear delineation from your chill space, many remote workers like posting up at the library or local coffee shop for the hum of productive white noise.
This also helps remote employees feel less isolated.
#6. Remote Work Is Too Lonely
As we mentioned earlier, remote workers have to make more of an effort to stay in touch than in-office teams who can just pop in each other’s cubicles to talk shop.
But the deliberate use of communication tools like Trello, Slack, Basecamp, Skype, GoToMeeting, etc. make for more meaningful interactions.
And one Gallup poll showed remote workers feel more connected to their teams than in-office employees do with their coworkers[*].
This also helps when managing a remote team.
#7. It’s Impossible to Be a Remote Manager
According to a report in the Harvard Business Review, remote managers[*]:
- Conscientiously reach out to their employees more often than in-office managers touch base with employees they physically see every day.
- Tend to be more conscious of how they express their authority since most interactions are one-on-one direct communication and less of a power dynamic.
- Take advantage of more tools to communicate effectively. They use video chats, email, direct messages, etc. more than traditional managers.
If you’re currently in a management role, you can learn how to manage a remote team to make the transition to a telecommuting job as seamless as possible.
Yes — you can totally find remote management jobs online — and jobs spanning almost every other category too.
#8. Remote Work is Just for Programmers, Coders, and IT Professionals
Finally, the biggest misconception about remote work is that there isn’t enough of it.
But thanks to the rise in mobile workspaces, positions for remote employment exist in job categories such as:
- Customer support
- Military occupations
- Business/Executive management
- And so much more!
Of course, programming, development, and systems admin remote jobs are plentiful too. But they’re certainly not the only listings.
Check out the job board at We Work Remotely now to see which remote positions you may be qualified for!
Since you know the truth about these eight common misconceptions about remote work, it’s finally time to start searching for the job of your dreams — even if it’s on the other side of the world.