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Mythbusters: Remote work misconceptions debunked

Leaving behind stereotypes about this growing sector and the future of work


What's going on?

According to Owl Lab’s annual Global State of Remote Work report, 68% of workers around the world have worked remotely, and we know this number is only increasing by the day, especially with the ongoing lockdown situation. Still, many remain skeptical due to a number of prevalent myths cited by those who distrust the working system. Here are three debunked misconceptions that persist about remote work.


The most common myth is that remote workers are unproductive. Although it is easy to assume an employee being away from their boss results in distractions from work, fortunately, most employees recognize the benefits of their working arrangement and are determined to make it successful. A Stanford study on China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip, with 20,000 employees, saw that remote work leads to a 13% employee performance improvement. Another study conducted by FlexJobs also confirms this finding with 65% of employees say they are more productive when working outside of a traditional office setting.


Another common myth is that remote work leads to poor communication. A TINYpulse survey on the satisfaction and productivity of remote workers proves the opposite is true – showing 52% of 509 remote workers being in contact with their manager at least once a day, with another 34% in contact once a week. Furthermore, if managers and employees fail to interact and engage with one another, then communication will suffer in any working arrangement. Demanding employees to be in the office also ignores how technology has allowed for sophisticated communications methods.


Lastly, it is often-believed that remote work makes you lonely; however, this implies that all remote workers are homebound, which is usually not the case. Instead, many remote workers spend their time in coworking spaces, libraries, and coffee shops where other people can accompany them. According to an Amerisleep survey, 80% of 1,001 remote workers are less stressed now that they work remotely, and 75% hope to work remotely for the rest of their careers.