Full time remote work is becoming more popular in 2019. I remember when I started my career in development 10 years ago, I could work from home on a case by case basis. Then I moved jobs and remote work was basically frowned upon! Finally, this year I went fully remote while working at a startup in San Fran. I thought this post would be a good jumping off point to discuss myth’s about remote work!
Remote workers are always on the clock
Remote workers aren’t always on the clock, unless you are working on call. I work a regular 9-5 with a lunch break, I get weekends off, as well as American holidays and I can take PTO whenever I please. My wife who is also a remote worker in a completely different field, works slightly different hours but it works out as 9-5, she also gets weekends off (although weekend is fri-sat). Just because you are working from your house, co working space, RV, or Starbucks doesn’t mean you have to be online 24-7.
Remote work is lonely
Remote work is certainly not an episode of The Office, but I am not lonely or isolated. I talk to my colleagues throughout the day via slack, hangouts, email etc. My contact is always intentional, no one contact’s me without a purpose which is different then the office days of random interactions throughout the day which pulled myself out of a productive state because we needed to talk about Patriots winning another game (GO PATS!).
I also have friends who I talk to, family and of course my wife, just because 9-5 is no longer in a work place doesn’t mean I immediately turn into a hermit. I also like to point out I no longer spend 15-2 hours in the car staring at red lights and avoiding poor drivers, which means when I get in my car. I have a purpose and probably means I am going somewhere I want to go and enjoying something.
Remote workers are over worked!
People who don’t work remotely everyday, and often work from home on occasion feel the immense pressure to show their bosses I AM WORKING! They work harder, do more, take on more because they feel that because they are at home that everyone believes they are watching the latest Netflix show and using their foot to wiggle the mouse.
Full time remote workers, don’t feel that pressure. We are doing the same amount of work as everyone else and no one feels the need to work 10x harder than people in the office. If the company you are working for has good structure and processes you should never feel like you are working harder than someone in your office.
Being sick is not an option.
It’s cold and flu season, Karen next you has been hacking up a lung for the past week and you are starting to feel a like off yourself. You decide it’s not a good idea to spread the germs and work from home, all of a sudden you have full-blown flu and your out for a week. This all seems normal, people believe that remote workers can’t be sick, they are at home they can sit in their PJ’s and work from bed.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you are sick, you aren’t going to be able to concentrate enough to be an effective worker, that is what PTO is for. Remote workers can take time off just like everyone else, sure you might push it a bit further and work an extra day before being out but you are and can be sick!
Home Office are not healthy, or good to work from
When discussing remote work, another concern that is frequently brought up is that home offices are often considered to be poor working spaces.
Whether it’s about being crammed into a crowded closet to work, tables and chairs that are not ergonomic, or even that the environment at home is less healthy than in the office, you’ll hear this one a lot. And they have cause for concern, to an extent—repetitive motion injuries, back and neck injuries from bad furniture, and eyestrain from bad lighting and cheap monitors are certainly a risk.
However, a company when letting an employee work from home will usually supply the work with all the tools they need to be in a place that is healthy ergonomic etc. The company I currently work for supplied by computer, keyboard and mouse and gave $1000.00 to give my office all the items I needed, I bought an ergonomic chair, desk, monitor mounts, eyewear etc. My home office is probably better than any office desk I have ever worked out of.
That brings my myth busting write up about all the things I have heard that are very big misconceptions about remote workers or remote work. I hope this clears a few things up and I hope in the future you if you are offered a remote