By now, many Americans have been working from home for over 2 months to slow the spread of COVID-19. While some workplaces are slowly returning to normal operations, others are in no rush to return to the office.
Remote work has been quite an adjustment for thousands of people, especially if this was their first time doing so. However, there are some myths out there regarding work from home, in particular, how it affects productivity. Check out these work from home myths.
Myth #1: Remote Workers Are Less Productive
Before COVID-19, many workplaces implemented strict work from home guidelines or didn’t allow it all. There is a commonly held misconception that when employees work from home, they don’t get as much done as they would in the office. However, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth! Studies have found that working from home increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles.
By eliminating long, daily commutes, workers have more time in their schedule to relax, be with family, or to focus on other hobbies. Remote workers are also able to take breaks when needed, which studies have found decreases stress and increases concentration.
Myth #2: Working From Home Is Easier Than Working in an Office
As comfortable as it might sound to work from your bed or couch, remote work experts caution against this. When you work from home, it’s more important than ever that you remain mindful of your surroundings. Not only can working from the couch or bed cause ergonomic problems down the line, but it can also leave you prone to distractions such as the TV or the temptation to nap.
To set yourself up for success, create an environment that is conducive to productivity and focus. While not everyone has the space in their home for an office, sometimes it’s enough to devote one area to work from to reduce distractions. Even if you have to work at your kitchen table, you can set up office-like decor for when you work and then clear it away at the end of the day. Good lighting is also key to keeping your workspace usable.
Myth #3: Managers Can’t Effectively Manage Remote Workers
A concern that many supervisors have for their remote employees is that they won’t be able to manage effectively from a distance. However, by employing a few simple techniques, managers can ensure they’re staying connected to their team members.
Daily check-ins, regular status reports, and time tracking are helpful tools for the effective management of remote workers. While it might feel strange to communicate often with remote workers, there’s no such thing as “too much communication” when it comes to managing a remote team. Teams rely on their supervisors for direction and how to focus their time and attention. It should be no different for remote work!
Myth #4: Work-life Balance Is Better When You Work From Home
Although working from home can contribute to a better work-life balance, it doesn’t come naturally – it’s something you have to create consciously. It’s harder to unplug when you live in your workspace, and it can be challenging to know when to take a break or put away the laptop for the night.
Set a structured time to work every day, set boundaries with your work, take breaks when needed, and use to-do lists to structure your work time.
Working from home is a necessity right now to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Don’t let these myths fool you into thinking remote work is good or bad – it’s what you make of it. What tips or tools have you been using to boost your work from home productivity?