With talks of companies returning to their offices full time, the debate on remote vs. in-office work is more controversial than ever. Business moguls like Disney’s CEO Bob Iger and Morgan Stanely CEO James P. Gorman have taken a hard stance on remote work, claiming it’s less productive or harmful for business.
But that’s not exactly true. Even Elon Musk, who was previously a skeptic of remote work, has come around to the idea of remote culture and its benefits for employees, businesses, and the economy. We’re here to debunk myths about remote work productivity and why returning to the office might not be as beneficial as you think.
Debunking Common Remote Work Myths
We at First Page Strategy know first-hand how beneficial remote work can be — we’ve been thriving in a remote culture for years. Below, we’ll set the record straight on some of the most common remote work myths.
Myth #1: Remote Workers Aren’t as Productive
Many skeptics of remote work have ideas of remote employees folding laundry or watching TV instead of focusing on work. But evidence actually suggests that remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.
A study that assessed the productivity of over 1,000 remote workers within the tech industry during the COVID-19 pandemic found the following when asked if they were more productive or less productive working from home:
- 57% were more productive
- 17% less productive
- 24% felt the same
Myth #2: Remote Workers Don’t Have the Resources Available to Succeed
With the shift to remote work, many companies have been able to provide employees with the resources they need to operate efficiently in a remote setting. This includes laptops, team communication apps, project management software, and even remote benefits like gym memberships, Wi-Fi stipends, or coworking space options.
Myth #3: Remote Work Stifles Collaboration
The truth is, you don’t need to have face-to-face contact to foster creativity or develop a meaningful working relationship with your peers. Technology has made it easier than ever to collaborate with colleagues all over the world.
Instead of having to book a meeting room to have a brainstorm or a 1 on 1 with your manager, you can connect with someone anytime, anywhere. Technology has also made it easy for businesses to have company-wide meetings to encourage transparency, provide training, and improve cross-department collaboration.
Myth #4: Remote Work Hurts Company Culture
While an in-office atmosphere can offer perks like break rooms, ping pong tables, and holiday parties, you don’t need all of those things to create a healthy company culture. As companies move to hybrid or fully remote environments, culture will depend on things like:
- Employee development
- Providing resources to encourage work-life balance
Having a committee that invests in these values can create a positive working environment and improve employee retention rate. To be honest, most employees would likely prefer in-office perks to be reinvested into their salaries, benefits, or career development.
Myth #5: Employees Prefer to Work in an Office
When it comes to employee preferences, the stats point to workers preferring the autonomy and flexibility that comes with remote work. In their 2022 State of Remote Work Report, Buffer found that 59% of people surveyed want to primarily work from home and 41% want to work from other locations (coworking spaces, coffee shops, libraries, etc.).
5 Remote Work Benefits
No matter how you slice it, every job situation is going to have its pros and cons. The same is true with remote work, but from our personal remote working experience, the benefits outweigh the cons. Here are some of our favorite reasons for loving remote work.
Listen, in-office work can be expensive. Not only do you have to take into account the costs of operating a working space (working supplies, coffee, and snacks, building rent and maintenance, etc.), employees have regular expenses for travel costs, parking, lunches, daily child or pet care, work clothes, and more.
For businesses, eliminating these expenses through remote work could mean allocating funds toward career development programs, employee benefits, and promotions. For employees, saving on these daily costs could be the difference of a few hundred dollars a week, which will add up.
Let's face it…in this economy, both business owners and employees could use all the financial breaks that they can get.
Flexible Working Hours
One of the best things about remote work is autonomy over your work schedule and your day. With this freedom, you’re able to organize your workday to accommodate your health, daily routines, or home life.
Never thought you’d be able to do it all? As long as you’re able to plan your day correctly so that you can operate effectively…you can.
As we previously mentioned, lower productivity rates for remote workers are not usually the case. If you use remote work to your advantage, you could find ways to be even more efficient and productive at home than you were in the office.
Without long commute times, mid-day trips to lunch, office chit-chat, or your walk to conference rooms, you could knock out a day’s work in less time. What’s important is building the right team of people who are self-motivated and don’t need in-office micromanaging to get the job done. And by effectively monitoring the team utilization rate, it’s easy to ensure your team is using its time and resources in the most productive way it can.
Less Sick Leave
In a remote setting, employers are finding that fewer sick days are being taken. If you’re feeling under the weather, you can work from the comfort of your home and not worry about infecting your team — not only minimizing sick days for yourself but across the team.
That said, this can be a pro and a con. If you or your employees are feeling sick, it’s best to take the time needed to recover rather than push through the day and prolong an illness.
Greater Access to Talent
With remote employees, business owners and hiring managers have a wider net to cast when finding the perfect fit for the team. New hires don’t have to be local and interviews can be held over video calls, as long as working hours overlap across multiple time zones.
A bonus is that employees do not have to relocate to take a new job, and companies do not have to pay relocation costs, which could be returned back into the new hire’s salary.
Transition to Remote Work With First Page Strategy
Remote work is here to stay — that’s a fact. So when transitioning from in-office to remote, it’s important that you not only find a company that values work autonomy and flexibility, culture, and communication but is able to show those values in a remote atmosphere. If you want to join our dream team, check out our job openings here.