With an ever increasing number of telecommuters in today’s workforce, you’d think an accurate portrait of remote work would exist. But stereotypes and remote work myths are slow to die. If you’re a home-based worker, spread the truth whenever you can!
Here are some of the most common remote work myths still circulating:
Myth 1: “Work from home” is synonymous with “scam,” so don’t bother wasting your time.
Are there unscrupulous people out there trying to obtain your social security number or promising you huge bucks for stuffing envelopes while you watch television?
Unfortunately, yes. Job seekers do need to be aware of job search scams. (Hint: if it sounds too good to be true or requires putting up any of your own money, run.) A good strategy is to use sites like Remote.co and FlexJobs that screen opportunities.
Myth 2: Telecommuters aren’t as productive as people who work in a “real” office.
This is one of the biggest remote work myths out there. The notion exists that without others around to “keep them honest,” remote staff members slack off more than their in-office counterparts.
While telecommuting does take self-discipline, successful home-based workers know that they will be judged on output and act accordingly. Because they lack a commute, remote workers often start earlier or remain working later. And with a flexible schedule, telecommuters can choose their best times to get things done (no more night owls struggling at 8 a.m.). As for distractions? Sure, they exist and must be limited.
But just think of how much time on-site workers lose to interruptions from colleagues and office politics. And Facebook needs to be closed regardless of where you work.
Myth 3: Remote work might be an option for writers or customer service reps, but I’d never find a position in my field.
Certain professions may lend themselves to home-based work more easily than others. If flexible arrangements are important to you, however, start exploring. “Medical & Health,” “Education and Training,” “Computer & IT,” and “Sales” are some of the categories with the most listings on FlexJobs.
For more inspiration, check out this list of “100 of the Most Surprising Flexible Jobs.”
Myth 4: Only startups or organizations that can’t attract enough talent let people work remotely, not well-known firms.
Offering flex work helps businesses of all sizes find and retain great employees. Some telecommuters work for new or established virtual companies that lack physical headquarters.
Others get hired by “big guys” such as AT&T, Wells Fargo, Dell, Aetna, Xerox, and a plethora of other companies committed to flexibility.
Myth 5: Remote work is only for Millennials. Nobody in my generation does that—we’d never make enough money to support our families.
The option to telecommute is definitely a way to gain the attention of job seekers from generations Y and Z. However, they certainly aren’t the only ones attracted to flexible arrangements.
In fact, GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reveals: “A typical telecommuter is college-educated, 45 years old or older, and earns an annual salary of $58,000 while working for a company with more than 100 employees. 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80th percentile of all employees, home- or office-based.”
Myth 6: All telecommuters work in their pajamas.
Yes, not having to dress up is a perk of working from home. Given a choice, who wouldn’t trade a suit for jeans or heels for gym shoes? Doing so doesn’t make you less professional, just more comfortable (and probably a little richer due to the lack of dry cleaning bills).
And while pajamas may sometimes be worn in the home office—oftentimes by a remote worker eager to check email or jot down an outstanding idea—most telecommuters find that showering, dressing, and the like before sitting down to work provides structure to their day. When it comes down to it, though, are fuzzy bunny slippers really a problem as long as the work is getting done?
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