The 4 Biggest Misconceptions About Remote Work

Misconceptions About Remote Work

You might have heard about all of the benefits of telecommuting, but there’s no doubt that the negative misconceptions about remote work slipped in there as well.

Before you choose to only hire local employees that are able to come into the office every day, make sure you understand the real facts about remote work. This way, you can make the best decision for you and your company.

1. Remote Workers are Less Productive

This is, without a doubt, false. The research actually points to remote workers being much more productive.

Let’s take a look at a study conducted by Ctrip where they analyzed telecommuting call center employees for nine months. If you believe this misconception about remote work, you’ll be surprised to learn that these digital nomads actually answered “13.5% more calls than their in-office counterparts–which equates to about three extra workdays of productivity per month.”

These results are repeated again and again. When Best Buy allowed its employees flexibility in coming into the office, their employee productivity was raised by a whopping 35 percent. ConnectSolutions (now CoSo Cloud) conducted a survey with their remote employees and found that “77% report greater productivity and 52% are less likely to take time off.”

This is due to a number of different factors, such as having less irrelevant meetings and no more talkative coworkers. There’s really no arguing with the fact that remote workers are more productive.

2. It’s too difficult to communicate with remote workers

With today’s technology, this is simply false. There’s not only the email, but there’s also video conferencing, online collaboration apps, like Slack, Azendoo, and many more.

And these productivity and sharing applications aren’t just used by digital nomads. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any sort of software engineering company that doesn’t use GitHub or one of its competitors for both its local and remote employees.

As of 2015, GitHub has over 9 million registered users, with about 20 million other visiting without registering. It has become one of the 100 most popular sites in the world.

The fact is that these applications and services increase productivity and communication with all members of the virtual team.

Beyond that, TINYpulse conducted a survey about the satisfaction and productivity of telecommuters to find that a huge percentage of remote workers–52%–had contact with their manager at least once every single day.

Check out our page for more information about how to encourage communication between local and remote teams, managing working nomads from different time zones, and choosing the best remote meeting software.

3. Remote workers are more expensive

This misconception is the furthest thing from the truth; remote workers actually save the company quite a bit of money.

The main reason for the lowered cost is simply lower overhead. Businesses don’t need to spend the money on office space for these workers, utilities, office supplies, furniture, and more. In fact, if the average business allowed their employees the option of remote work just half of the time, they would save $11,000 per year on average.

Let’s consider the Ctrip study mentioned previously. They proved that their company saved a whopping $1,900 per employee with telecommuters!

The employees benefit, too; CoSo Cloud found out that remote workers were able to save up to $5240 because they didn’t have to waste money on gas, lunch at work, and other commuting costs.

The next reason employers can save so much with telecommuters is that these remote employees take much fewer sick days. Because up to 78% of employees call in sick because of personal issues or stress, the number is shown to be much lower for remote employees who can better handle these problems thanks to their ability to control their own schedule.

Digital nomads also don’t need to take off work for things like doctor’s appointments. These unscheduled absences with local employees are shown to cost an average of $1,800 per employee per year. So, it’s clear how lowering this number can potentially save companies thousands of dollars a year.

If you still don’t believe that remote workers are better for business, let’s take a look at some examples provided by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics:

  • IBM cut real estate costs by $50 million
  • Nortel estimates that they save $100,000 per employee they don’t have to relocate
  • Average real Estate savings will full-time telework is $10,000/employee/year
  • Sun Microsystems saves $68 million a year in real estate costs

​4. Data is Not As Safe with Remote Workers

There are a few reasons this misconception persists.
One of them is that employers fear that the machines and software used by their remote workers might not be too old to be safe or are not kept up to date with the latest updates and patches. Honestly, this could be a potential problem with some remote workers, but not with those recommended by Distant Job.

We make sure that each and every applicant that we send you has the most current software necessary for security and productivity so you’ll never have to worry about a potential breach because of missing patches.

Another reason for this prejudice is that some business owners might still hold the belief that information hosted on the cloud is unsafe. While misconfigured settings could lead to leaky data, this is true whether you have remote workers or not. Instead, we can find you a security specialist or data engineer that would actually make your cloud database even more secure than before.

Most cloud applications today also have very advanced security protections that help make sure that information is easily shared among both remote and local employees while ensuring that the data included is secure.

The bottom line

Don’t let these misconceptions keep you from making the best decision for your business. Remote workers are more productive, save the company money, and communicate regularly. Also, all potential remote workers are highly vetted by Distant Job to make sure that you find an employee who is knowledgeable about keeping your data secure.

Now that you see why remote work will be the biggest hiring trend this year, let Distant Job help you find the perfect candidate to take your business to the next level.

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Angela Karl

Angela Karl

Everyone has something to say. Whether this is done through a feature article, blog post, white paper, newsletter, how-to post, or improving your SEO, I can help. As a contributor to publications such as The Huffington Post and TechGenix, I am a professional B2B and B2C IT writer with over seven years of experience with writing and editing.