The ongoing pandemic has forced many businesses and professionals to work remotely. This has led to a considerable shift in the way we view and measure productivity. Remote work has become a new norm, and companies are struggling to find new ways to maximize their employees’ productivity.
The traditional idea of productivity is often associated with the number of hours an employee works each day or how much they produce in a short period. However, this concept has been challenged by new research and studies, which suggest that traditional views on productivity may not be accurate.
In this blog, we will debunk some of the myths surrounding productivity and remote work while exploring the potential benefits of remote work for businesses and individuals alike.
Myth #1: More Hours = More Productivity
The belief that the more hours an employee works, the more productive they are, is one of the most common myths surrounding productivity. However, research has shown that working long hours can cause burnout and, ultimately, decrease productivity levels.
Due to this, many experts suggest that a shorter workday or a flexible work schedule can increase productivity. According to a study by Stanford University, a shorter workday led to increased productivity by staff and lower stress levels. Furthermore, flexible work arrangements have been associated with increased job satisfaction, which can lead to higher productivity levels, even when working fewer hours.
Myth #2: Remote Work Is Less Productive
Another common myth is that remote work decreases productivity. This belief is partially fed by the need of some managers for ‘control’ over their employees. However, many studies contradict this view.
One such study by Airtasker found that remote workers were more productive, taking fewer breaks, and working more hours without interruption than their office-based counterparts. This is because remote workers, in many cases, can reduce and eliminate the distractions found in an office setting – constant meetings, chatter from colleagues, or commute times, which decreases productivity.
Furthermore, remote workers also experience less stress, which can also lead to an increase in productivity. A study by Cigna showed that remote workers experienced less job-related stress than their office-based counterparts, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Myth #3: Face-To-Face Communication Is More Effective Than Online Communication
Many business managers still believe in the importance of face-to-face communication, often considering it as the optimal communication tool. However, a study by Wundamail found that email could be more effective than face-to-face communication in certain situations.
For example, email communication can be more effective when giving specific and detailed instructions. Additionally, email can also reduce the need for additional meetings, which can be time-consuming and reduce productivity levels.
However, this does not mean that face-to-face communication is not essential. It is still crucial to creating relationships and building trust between colleagues. Video conferencing is now also a popular way to connect remotely with the added benefit of facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language, making it a great tool for remote workers to connect and build relationships with their colleagues.
Mytho #4: Remote Workers Are Not Accountable
Another common myth surrounding remote work is that it is challenging to measure the productivity of remote workers. This often leads to the assumption that remote workers may not be accountable and thus may not produce the desired output.
However, this myth is not accurate. Remote workers are often held accountable for their productivity levels, just like office-based workers. In fact, remote workers can be even more accountable to their work because they must be self-motivated and manage their own work schedules independently.
Several tools and software have been developed to help managers and businesses measure and track the productivity of remote workers. These tools enable employers to monitor the number of hours worked, tasks completed, and performance levels, ensuring that remote workers remain productive and accountable.
Myth #5: Remote Workers Are Not Part of The Team
Another misconception about remote workers is that they are not part of the team. This myth is based on the idea that remote workers may feel isolated, disconnected from their colleagues, and thus not fully integrated into the organization.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Remote workers often use digital tools to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues. Video conferencing, instant messaging platforms, and other collaborative tools allow remote workers to engage in real-time with their colleagues, ensuring that they stay connected and fully integrated into the team.
Moreover, remote workers can contribute to the team by providing different perspectives and ideas. Remote workers often bring a fresh perspective to the table because they are not directly impacted by the issues or politics of the office environment.
Benefits of Remote Work
Now that we have debunked some of the myths surrounding remote work let us explore some of the potential benefits of remote work for businesses and individuals alike.
Reduced Overhead Costs
One of the most apparent benefits of remote work for businesses is reduced overhead costs. A study by Global Workplace Analytics found that remote work could save an employer up to $11,000 per year, per employee on rent, utilities, and other office-related expenses.
Furthermore, remote work also reduces the need for additional office space, equipment, and resources, which can lower a company’s overall expenses significantly.
We have already established that remote work can lead to increased productivity for employees. This increase in productivity has a domino effect on the organization as a whole, leading to increased revenue, profitability, and overall success for the business.
Access To A Global Talent Pool
Remote work has also enabled employers to tap into a vast pool of talent across the globe. This opens up the potential for businesses to hire highly skilled workers from areas that traditionally would not be considered for employment, leading to a more diverse and skilled workforce.
Better Work-Life Balance
Remote work also allows employees to enjoy better work-life balance, which can reduce stress levels and increase productivity levels. Remote workers can balance their personal and professional lives by creating a flexible work schedule that works best for them. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher job retention rates, and overall better mental and physical health.
Remote work has revolutionized the way we work and interact with our colleagues. It has come with numerous benefits, including increased productivity, reduced overhead costs, and access to a global workforce. However, the misconceptions surrounding remote work may hinder its success if not addressed.
As businesses continue to embrace remote work, it is important to stay open-minded and adjust policies and practices accordingly, ensuring that remote workers are held accountable and fully integrated into the team. With a flexible and open-minded approach, remote work has the potential to revolutionize the modern workplace, making it more productive, efficient, and enjoyable for everyone.
The ongoing pandemic has challenged most businesses to adopt new work arrangements, including remote work. While this has come with several challenges, it has also unearthed potential benefits that can lead to increased productivity, lower overhead costs, a more diverse workforce, and better work-life balance.
However, as we have seen, remote work comes with its own set of myths and misconceptions that can hinder progress. As businesses continue to embrace remote work, it is essential to stay open-minded and adjust policies and practices accordingly, ensuring maximum productivity for themselves and their employees.