After working remotely for almost six months, one thing has become very clear – ‘Remote Working’ grows on you. And we can say this very confidently as we have had the same experience when we at Skuad went 100% remote like many of you and your organisations.
Like many companies with remote workforce, we too had our notions and opinions, but we also knew we cannot go wrong. After all, working successfully as a remote team is what Skuad is all about. Nevertheless, from miscommunication to Imposter Syndrome, we had thoughts and fears about them all! But as we engaged with this model, we realised and experienced that a lot of these fears and opinions are nothing but myths and misconstrued facts.
So, here we are, bursting the most common myths people have about remote working. But, before we dive into the debunking process, we want you to understand the difference between remote-friendly and remote-first setups.
In a remote-friendly setup, an organisation primarily has physical office spaces but the employees have the liberty to operate from outside of the office. In a remote-first setup, ‘remote’ is the default. With a few exceptions, there is no permanent office space.
This is the most common myth of all. For most of us, stepping out of a formal office space translates into an employee working from home. Now that Skuad has teams operating from over six time zones, engaged full-time, part-time, and freelance, we understand different working styles. Some swear by their den a.k.a home-office. Some find increased productivity levels at a coworking space. And some like changes in the environment, so they hop from one cafe to another.
See, that’s the beauty of remote working, to be able to choose your comfort zone and not sticking to a 4×4 cubicle.
Because gig workers such as self-employed professionals and freelancers are not committed to one organisation, they don’t have to go to an office every day. While this is true, the opposite isn’t. Full-time or part-time employees do not necessarily have to operate from offices. The pandemic has already taught us how we can function remotely, but if you are still looking at some hacks, here are some Skuad secrets.
Reminiscing the past you will realise people (such as carpenters, potters, tailors, etc.) have always been working remotely, specifically from their homes. Industrialisation ushered the concept of the factory and the rest is history. So it totally depends on your contract with a company and the kind of profession you are in. So try remote working opportunities once before you make a pick if it is for you or not!
Okay, this one is true for some, but we’ve cracked the code. To understand remote work productivity, we spoke to different professionals. We concluded that changes in productivity of remote workers are not determined by the work model, but by your unfamiliarity with it.
Pause and think: didn’t you also struggle with your productivity initially, but you bounced back to your real form once you got familiar with the remote model? That nod of the head right there is how we have debunked this misconception, too!
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. But in the case of working remotely, we have become more cautious. Meetings have increased, we have realised the intent and importance of being on the same page. And, the call frequency is so much that we can recognise each other’s family members from their voices. The point is to foresee gaps in miscommunication and make efforts in overcoming them.
If put in an equation, remote work-life balance is directly proportional to time management. Let’s trace back a little. Remote work implies flexibility. This means custom designing our time-table for the day. And while we all craft it, we end up integrating both personal and professional tasks in those standard 9-10 office hours. Haha! (ghost laugh) now you know where you were going wrong.
So achieving work-life balance is a personal goal and not a default of the remote model.
It might come as a surprise, but remote working is quite neutral and works perfectly for all kinds of human stereotypes. It is a dream come true for people who enjoy their own space and company, and works equally well for those who like continuous change in setting. In both these extreme cases and the ones that fall in between, remote work involves working with distributed teams. It involves continuous interactions with different teams, completion of your tasks on time, and displaying a sense of organisational solidarity, irrespective of your personality type.
It’s the 21st Century, and we all can agree that the availability of information is in abundance. As one of our colleagues, Chetan said, “The free world internet is our oyster. Just Google or YouTube your area of learning and you will find an ocean of materials”. In fact, some organisations hold regular training sessions and provide subscriptions to learning platforms like Coursera, etc. At Skuad, we have open Slack channels where we build an ever-increasing inventory of knowledge by sharing interesting articles, videos, etc. So don’t worry about losing out, because there are always infinite remote career opportunities at your disposal.
We can say that while there are days we miss the office. There are times we wish to pull each other out of our laptop screens and go for that ‘much-missed’ tea break together. But, we are also working with more creative freedom, flexibility, and opportunities to make better decisions. We are managing the challenges of remote working well and growing on individual levels. We are happily settled in this remote work lifestyle.
And once the world heals and springs back from the COVID-19, we will actually be able to get rid of the work-from-home kind of remote work. Subsequently, we will be able to experience remote working with all the benefits for gig workers! Until then, let’s stay in touch via laptops and wifi.