Debunking 5 Common Remote Work Myths That Can Hurt Hiring

Remote work is no longer a novelty, nor an emerging trend. It is a reality in the modern business world, and offers significant benefits to employees and employers alike. Of course, there's always some resistance to change, and the shift towards remote work is no exception to that rule. There are still plenty of companies who prefer the traditional in-office model, but many others who are adopting the hybrid or fully remote work model. If you’re debating which model makes the most sense for your business, it’s important to be able to separate common misconceptions from facts and data. Ultimately, all employers want to create a positive company culture while obtaining maximum productivity from their workforce. Candidates today are requiring flexibility from their employers. If your current business model is getting in the way of making quality hires, it might be time to re-examine some of those misconceptions surrounding remote or hybrid work. With that in mind, let's debunk 5 common myths about remote work (that can possibly hurt your hiring and recruiting process).

Myth #1: Remote workers aren't as productive as in-office ones

For many people, there's a common misconception of what remote workers do on a daily basis. It used to be that when you searched Google Images for "remote work," you'd find pictures of people relaxing on the beach with their laptop, or sitting in front of their computer in their pajamas. This false image reinforces the notion that remote work is for people who want to take it easy with a minimal amount of effort.However, this idea couldn't be farther from the truth. Remote workers are some of the most diligent, dedicated, and conscientious employees on the market today. In fact, research indicates that the majority of remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts (77%), and less likely to take time off (52%).

In reality:

Far from being lazy or non-productive, remote workers tend to be highly motivated, driven people - which makes them a valuable asset for any growing company.

Myth #2: It's impossible to hold remote employees accountable for their work

This is a big concern for managers, and understandably so. After all, how can you be sure that your remote employees are handling their responsibilities if there's no way to visually check their progress?Of course, the flip side to that coin is that trustworthy workers won’t need micro-managing. The hope is that they produce quality work whether they're in sight of their boss or not. The key is to set clear and measurable expectations for each remote employee, and then to track their progress in terms of results, instead of physical presence. Experienced managers know that there's a big difference between someone showing up to work, and someone actually working. Additionally, managers can stay on top of individual performance by means of regular check-ins -- even if those take place virtually.

In reality:

If you practice good communication, and focus on results, then you can keep your remote workers accountable.

Myth #3: Remote work is for unskilled employees

This is another common misconception. Historically, many remote jobs were entry-level positions, such as basic data entry, transcription, customer service, and so forth. However, today there remote and hybrid workers at every level, including high-level consultants. Most remote roles require years of training and experience, certifications, college/university degrees, and other credentials.

In reality:

There are many remote positions for coding and software development on the market today, and these require in-depth knowledge of programming languages, not to mention proficiency with a range of technical tools. Just because these are remote jobs doesn't mean those workers don't need some serious skills to be successful.

Myth #4: Remote workers never really become "part of the team"

Another concern for candidates and clients alike is of a “permanent disconnect" for remote workers. In other words, employers are worried that remote workers will never truly integrate into their team, or company culture, and their workplace happiness will ultimately suffer as a result.However, there are steps that you can take to keep your remote workforce "connected" to their team, and the organization as a whole. For example, you can schedule regular times throughout the week to touch base with each remote employee, perhaps even doing so daily. You can utilize communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to keep everyone updated on key goals, deadlines, and policy changes. In addition, you can organize team meet-ups, coffee breaks, and dinners (either on or off the clock) to help employees forge deeper personal relationships with one another.

In reality:

If you're willing to put in the work, and create an environment that focuses on teamwork and collaboration, then your employees will respond - whether they work in the office full-time, on a hybrid schedule, or fully from home.

Myth #5: Setting up a remote employee is costly and complicated

Some employers imagine that all remote employees will require elaborate dual-monitor, state-of-the-art CPU work stations at home... and then they think about the bill their company would have to pay for that equipment.In reality, though, the vast majority of remote workers don't need such a fancy setup. In fact, most of them use regular laptops or PCs purchased at a retail store - either their own, or one provided to them by the company. And installing the right apps or software on their computer usually isn't a big deal.

In reality:

The two most important pieces of "equipment" that your average remote worker needs are: (1) a fast Internet connection, and (2) an ergonomic chair and desk. If they have those two things, then odds are you won't need to worry about providing them with specialized equipment or tech support.—In summary, remote work is here to stay; and you may be surprised at how easy it can be to implement, and how productive your remote employees will be! The perks are clear. Employers willing to hire hybrid or remote talent will gain access to a wider candidate pool outside of major metropolitan areas. Plus, you’ll remain competitive in today’s employment market – one where candidates are calling the shots and demanding flexibility from their employers. If you'd like to learn more about how an experienced recruiter can help your search for top talent, reach out to Career Group Companies today.

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