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Top 10 Remote Work Myths & Realities

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So many people, especially those in management positions have false ideas about remote work and what it involves. Learning to distinguish reality from the myths will help enable and empower more companies to implement remote work programs. Working remotely requires mobile professionals not to buy into the myths, and instead promote the reality and potential that remote work arrangements can provide. Discover the myths of remote work and how to prevent them from becoming reality.

1. Get Up When You Want

Myth

You will still be bound by the hours of operation of your work place, so thinking that you don't have to start working until noon is a very bad idea to have and an even worse practice to get into.

Fact

You rely on onsite co-workers to be available when you need them, so it's important that you are considerate of their needs. Even when traveling you must still let your office be aware of when and where you can be reached, with applicable time differences taken into account.

2. Work When You Want

Myth

Working when you want is part of the appeal of remote work. The reality is that you may be restricted to working within a specified set of hours each day. For example, some companies only have their computer system available and running for a set period each day. The system is not available beyond that time.

Fact

The hours you work should be put into any Remote Work Agreement to avoid problems and misunderstanding.

3. Work in Your PJ's

Myth

You can work in your pj's every day or even work naked! Dress rules no longer apply.

Fact

People who get dressed properly each morning tend to have higher productivity and feel better about themselves.

Some people set up a routine for themselves where they get up and proceed just as though they were going to the office.

When traveling, you may wish to wear more casual attire until you reach your destination, then change into your suit or other appropriate attire.

4. All Play and No Work

Myth

You can spend all day playing the latest computer games or work on perfecting your golf scores. You don't have to account to anyone for your time.

Fact

You will get found out and you could risk losing your job - not just the remote work arrangement. Save game playing for non-work time. When traveling by air or rail, play should be a last priority and only if completing any work is not possible.

Think of the impression you leave with others who may see you.

5. Social Phone Calls All Day

Myth

You can spend all day talking with friends and family. You don't have to worry about co-workers trying to reach you.

Fact

Tying up your phone with personal calls may cause you to miss important work related calls. This is very true when traveling as you may not have Internet access and cannot check e-mail as often. If you use your cell phone often and for non-work related matters you will be responsible for the charges incurred.

6. Visit with Family & Friends

Myth

Spending time visiting eases isolation and is great while traveling.

Fact

Whether you are working from your home office or traveling to other locations, you should not use company time for visiting. Doing so violates the trust placed in you and shows no respect for the company that you work for.

7. Never See the Office Again

Myth

You will never have to return to the office site again, for any reason.

Fact

For some this just may be one of the biggest reasons to work remotely. You can avoid all the distractions, stay out of the politics and rumor mills. This is not realistic.

If one reason that has motivated your desire to work remotely is to get away from people in the office, please don't broadcast that! It is in your best interest to keep quiet and just enjoy privately that you won't have to be there.

8. Royal Treatment

Myth

You are owed and entitled to all the luxuries that hotels offer while traveling, on the company dime of course.

Fact

If you believe this, you are mistaken.

You are not there for your personal pleasure and the bills are being paid by your company. Use common sense when traveling and don't go overboard with room service or other expensive activities unless you are prepared to pay for them yourself and use them on your own time.

9. Gadgets Galore

Myth

You need all the latest and greatest gadgets known to work remotely.

Fact

Use only the mobile gear that allows you to accomplish your job and that is absolutely required to do so.

Your company has a budget to follow and providing mobile workers with all the latest and greatest mobile gear can have significant impact on their bottom line.

Remember part of the appeal remote work offers company is saving money - eating the budget with mobile gear defeats that purpose.

10. Out of Sight = Out of Mind

Myth

You will be forgotten about and never receive another promotion or raise again.

Fact

Just because you are not in the office everyday does not mean you have fallen off the promotion track. With well trained managers and proper evaluation procedures in place, remote workers should have no fear of losing out on promotions because of their work environment.

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