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Myths (and Truths) About Working From Home

17 May 2021

Since 2005, the number of employees working from home has increased by 140 percent. In reality, over 4.3 million workers in the United States alone operate from home at least 50% of the time, and 40% more employers have adopted flexible workplace policies. 

The coronavirus pandemic has shown the viability of remote work, and working from home will help workers excel. Many sectors are expected to see an increase in remote work in the future. It benefits workers by reducing stress, saving time, and potentially increasing efficiency, and it helps employers by saving money on office rent and recruiting from a global applicant pool.

The more people learn the reality about remote work, the sooner we can all enjoy the rewards, so here are some of the most common misconceptions about working from home.

Employees are less productive working from home.

Many managers are concerned that workers who work from home will be disturbed or simply refuse to work. Employees' efficiency improves when they operate from home, according to research. When the US Patent and Trademark Office implemented a work-from-anywhere scheme, productivity increased by more than 4%. Trip.com, one of the world's most successful companies, conducted a randomized, controlled trial working from home and discovered that those who worked from home were 13% more effective than their office-based coworkers.

A person's performance can improve with the intervention of an authority figure, but they can also enhance their effectiveness in various ways. For example, if a person avoids outside distractions and focuses entirely on work, he or she might be able to work more effectively at home than at the workplace. This is particularly true when you realize how easily you can manage your work hours to maximize productivity.

Working from home can be a significant productivity boost for certain workers with disabilities, too, as they no longer have to spend a lot of energy on being physically at the office, commuting, and trying not to get any symptoms to worsen.

Work from home employees has a flexible schedule.

One of the most common myths about working from home is that you have complete control over your time. The reality is that your job situation will determine your flexibility. You will have more leverage of your working hours if you are a freelancer or self-employed, but you will also be required to observe the working hours of colleagues and clients. 

If you are a full-time worker, you're forced to maintain the same routine as you will in the workplace. So, even though you've effectively removed your commute, you'll still need to work and be present at the same hours as your boss and colleagues.

Working from home will make workers lonely and detached from the team.

Working remotely can present an additional challenge for certain managers in terms of interaction and relationship-building. Managers will be concerned that workers may not feel like they are part of a team. Working from home doesn't have to be a confining activity because you are not actually in the workplace. Your working style will often decide how often you communicate with your boss, colleagues, and customers, whether you are a full-time employee, freelancer, or self-employed. 

People have found innovative ways to connect in their work lives during the coronavirus pandemic, despite social distancing. Teams are working out how to keep in contact, from virtual office lunches to one-on-one video calls.

It's a breeze.

Working from home is still a job. It could be less stressful than working in a stressful workplace. You must, however, complete your work and do it well. If your employer is unsure about the idea of you working remotely, you can find yourself working extra hard at first to please them. 

Remote employees are never separated from their work. Working from home can be as basic as opening your laptop. This can make determining when the workday ends difficult. You may find yourself doing extra tasks long after you would typically be off work. You'll eventually figure out how to strike a balanced work-life balance. But you should be aware that working from home does not entitle you to binge-watch shows and sleep all day. You will also need to put in the effort to complete your task.

It's easier said than done.

Many "truths" about working from home stem from a lack of more in-depth knowledge of the issue. Some roles may be challenging due to the job nature rather than the circumstance of working from home.

Working from home does not always imply working from your bedroom (unless that's where you do your best work!). A designated "office room," no matter how limited, will bring your brain into work mode, allowing you to concentrate. You'll learn what else helps you focus when working remotely as you gain experience. Some people ought to get out of their pajamas. Others need a structured morning routine. However, there is no reason to believe that working from home is more complicated than working in an office. In reality, if you don't have to deal with an exhausting commute or obnoxious office politics, you might find it more manageable.

Employees who work from home do not need an office or workspace.

The dream of working from anywhere—your bedroom, the patio, or neighborhood coffee shop—is appealing, but it is also deceptive. You shouldn't function from anywhere just because you can.

When working from home, having a dedicated workspace can help with consistency and efficiency. You'll need a quiet, well-organized room where you can make calls, connect to a stable internet, and store documents. You may not have enough room in your home for a dedicated space, but you should have at least a desk and a file cabinet. If you think you need a bit of fresh air now and then, you can do so knowing you have an "official" desk to which you can return.

Speaking of desks, it isn't just a sales pitch or something to get you to purchase goods since the types of furniture or pieces of equipment you use will significantly boost your productivity and efficiency. For example, Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series and Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair are often more comfortable, suit some health needs, encourage productivity, and establish a more professional environment than your regular desk and chair.

Those who do remote work have a better work-life balance.

If you didn't feel like you had a work-life balance when you went into the office every day, you're likely to have issues at home as well. Your job schedule will decide your hours, so just because you're more physically present at home doesn't mean you'll have more time to take care of non-work commitments. Ensure you have good boundaries if you want to work from home and achieve more balance. This involves keeping working hours, having a dedicated workspace, and dressing for work every day. 

You can also enhance your work-life balance by discussing your schedule with someone you live with, so they know when you're not to be bothered, making plans to meet with a friend for your lunch hour at least once a week, and turning off your computer at the end of the workday. Make no arrangements that you would not feel comfortable with if you were working from your office.