Is It True that Remote Employees are Less Efficient?

Remote work has existed for many years. Before the pandemic, at least five percent of European citizens used this arrangement. After Covid-19 cases caused lockdown restrictions and borders to close, that number has risen to 12.3% [].

With the increasing number of people working from home, there have been many myths and misconceptions about the setup. There is a common belief that remote workers are lazy and are less efficient than their traditional counterparts. Though many successful companies like Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft have been relying on this remote work, some still believe that working from home is an ineffective strategy. But why do they think this?

Why do people believe remote workers are less efficient?

It has harder to monitor their progress

The reason people put more trust into office workers is that it is much easier to check their progress. In traditional office arrangements, higher-ups could simply approach the individual and inquire where they are in terms of their work. While there are alternatives for this in remote work like simply requesting updates via email, bosses find it harder to trust their employees when they can’t check for themselves.

This is also a reason why employee monitoring software are becoming more widely used across the board. They often track a worker’s productivity and whether they have become idle. Some programs also take screenshots and take videos of employees to ensure they are working. []. Due to the lack of physical proximity and general mistrust, it is commonly believed that remote employees work slower in comparison to their office counterparts.

They have time for things other than work

On another front of distrust, many managers and bosses believe that their employees are not spending as much time working as they are doing other tasks. When people are at home, they can be distracted by many different activities like doing chores and spending time on social media.

In comparison to office workers who can easily be monitored, remote workers have much more freedom due to their location. Employers do not trust that the members of their organization are focusing on their tasks unless they can physically see proof of productivity. Because of this, the misconception that remote workers spend less time on work is becoming increasingly popular.

Why these aren’t true

Remote workers are dependable

While employers are unable to monitor their workers the same way they could have if they were working on-site, these employees are still able to finish tasks and submit deliverables on time. Many find it easier to perform with this arrangement because they are freer to do their work rather than being micromanaged.

While it is important for managers to be updated on the progress of tasks, it is also important to let employees do their work independently. Just because they are working remotely does not mean they are not working toward the company’s goals. Remote workers are still highly capable members of each organization and should be treated as such. When they feel supported and trusted, it even motivates them to improve their work performance.

Remote workers can spend more time working compared to office workers

Contrary to popular belief, remote workers do not actually spend their hours performing other activities. Instead, they take so much time on work that the lack of boundaries becomes a common problem for many of them. Many remote workers forget to maintain a healthy work-life balance []

For those in the office, business hours end once they leave the premises. This practice is only broken during emergencies or special cases. But because remote workers are operating from home, the lack of physical boundaries also makes them believe that they have to keep working until they finish their tasks. While this isn’t healthy, it is still a testament to the fact that most if not all remote workers are just as productive as their traditional counterparts.

How remote workers can stay productive

While remote workers are efficient, like all employees, there may be days when they are unable to perform their tasks to the best of their abilities. Here are a few ways they can power through the productivity blocks:

Block distracting websites

Many people may find it easy to get distracted by websites like social media platforms. This can cause them to accidentally spend a bit longer on them instead of on their tasks. One way this can be prevented is by restricting access to these sites. Employees can do this by turning off their notifications from these applications or using extensions that can block them. This will lessen their susceptibility to opening these platforms.

Use the right tools

Since remote workers often spend most of their time sitting on their desks and looking at their screens, it is important that they have the right tools to prevent them from developing physical aches. Ergonomic equipment like monitor risers, wrist rests, and chairs are a few of the things they can look into getting. This will aid in preventing back pain, shoulder spasms, and eye strain [].

Have a dedicated workspace

Another way remote workers can maintain productivity is to have a dedicated space for work. This will help condition their minds into associating the area with working, subconsciously letting them know that when they are there, they should be performing their tasks instead of other activities []. This will also help them create a physical boundary between home and work, giving them a healthier balance between the two.

With so many remote workers entering the workforce, it is important to remember that they are just as efficient and productive as their office counterparts. They can get their tasks done and they are highly dedicated employees.


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