You’ve been lied to, manipulated, and deceived. The iWorkRemotely revolution is not what it seems to be.
As office rent prices continue to soar globally, employers all around the world have reached a secret agreement to encourage their employees to work remotely.
What does this mean for you personally? Who can you trust in this quest for sanity? Let’s debunk the myths you’ve been told about working remotely.
Myth #1: Working Remotely Means Working from Home in Your PJ’s
A lot of remote workers feel the need to organize their working time, and doing so at home, especially if the family is there all the time, is pretty tough. This means that you’ll end up working from coffee shops and libraries or even worse – co-working spaces.
Even if you do end up working from home, you might suffer from conditions similar to what Leigh Whipday describes: “I spend an awful lot of time at home. If I don’t get out of the house regularly I start to climb the walls. Being able to get from my bed to my office in less than ten seconds is as much of a bad thing as it is good.”
Still want to work from home?
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Myth #2: Remote Workers Can Do Less
Assuming that your co-workers will still have a central meeting hub or simply the office, you’ll have to put conscious effort into being more visible. You won’t be able to get away with just “showing up,” as there is no place you can just show up to.
As Vicente Plata puts it: “People will often wonder what are you doing or, in the worst case, they can even forget that you’re a member of the team.” He proceeds to give precious advice to new remote workers: “Find ways for making yourself visible: IM, emails, Code Reviews, status updates.”
Andrea Ayres-Deets agrees with this and says that the issue with remote workers isn’t that they will be doing too little, it is that they will do too much. She quotes the book Remote by 37signals:
“It starts innocently enough. You wake up by opening your laptop in bed and answering a few work emails from the previous night. Then, you make yourself a sandwich and work through lunch. After dinner, you feel the need to check in with Jeremy on the West Coast about that one thing. Before you know it, you’ve stretched your workday from 7 to 9.”
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Myth #3: Remote Workers Work When They Want
If you still believe that remote workers work when they want, Leigh Whipday might disagree with you. “Working for agencies in different time zones can be a challenge. It means I’m on call right until I go to sleep,” he says. “I have to be available to answer emails or jump on video chats late at night. I’m ok with that but it can make the work/life balance difficult sometimes.”
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Myth #4: Remote Workers Are More Happy
If by happy you mean lonely and pathetic.
Just hear what Andrea Ayres-Deets has to say about this: “It’s just me and my cat Locutus, and as much as I enjoy talking to him, he’s pretty bad at reciprocating.” She continues: “I constantly get the feeling that I’m missing out on all the fun. I turn on the TV just so I can hear other people talking.“
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Myth #5: Remote Workers Don’t Have to Meet Their Co-Workers
Did you really just forget about biyearly company meetings?
You’ll have to fly in and meet all of your lovely co-workers whether you’re working from home or not. All the small talk you’ve been missing out on condensed in one day. Isn’t this the stuff dreams are made of?
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Your Tales Don’t Scare Me
If you still want to be working remotely, and you fear that you won’t be able to convince your employer to go through with it, you might want to add Remote: Office Not Required to your reading list.
Then take a piece of paper and write out all the pros of you working remotely, incorporating all the aspects of your job specifically. Then take another piece of paper and write out all the potential risks. Which list is longer? (I’m really curious.) Present your research to the boss and let the force be with you, always.
Over to You
This is the end. If you want it. Otherwise you can leave me a note stating what you think about this post in the comments section below.
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