Remote Work: 20 Common Myths and Misconceptions, Debunked!

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

In the past years, most of the world has become familiar with not just the concept, but the actual reality of remote working. As millions of people have started working more hours from home and more businesses have got on board with offering remote work positions, it seems as if a large clump of common myths and misconceptions about remote work have been debunked!

The below points are some of the common myths and misconceptions about remote working that have been around for years. Now that the world is changing the way it does business, people are starting to realize that these are just myths. Let’s jump right into debunking the myths and misconceptions surrounding remote working…

20 debunked myths and misconceptions about remote working:

1. Remote work means less productivity.

Many people think that remote workers lie around all day watching TV, eating, reading, and generally avoiding work, but in reality, the stress of having the opportunity to distract often makes people get the work done early and quickly. In fact, in some situations, people are far more productive when working in their own space where they are most comfortable. 

2. Working remotely means the work never ends.

While this might be the case for workaholics, some people do have a firm grip on setting specific work and home life hours. All it takes is getting used to the remote work schedule and ensuring that you stick to it. In recent years, millions of people have been proving that they can set realistic work hours at home and that businesses and customers can and do respect them.

3. Home work-life balance suffers from remote work.

Much the same as mentioned above, remote workers have advanced over the years. By creating a specific workspace, employees can separate home and work life quite effectively. In fact, they have proven that this can happen and that it works!

4. Remote workers become lazy and don’t meet deadlines.

People often have the misconception that remote workers simply never get anything done and that it’s vastly difficult for them to meet deadlines, if possible at all. The culture of remote working has changed over the years. People having to work from home have become more responsible as they realize the importance of retaining employment, especially in stressful times. 

Working remotely can inspire a worker to get up early and get the workload done and dusted, so that they can go about their day, filtering in some personal chores and tasks too. 

5. Promotions and advancement are impossible with remote work.

Many people think that they will never get promoted if they work remotely, but that’s just not true. With remote working becoming more the norm, it is not uncommon for remote workers to receive the same career advancement opportunities that they would have had in the office. By showing leadership, being efficient, and spurring on company growth, a remote worker’s efforts can be recognized and rewarded.

6. Working at home leads to loneliness and depression.

While working remotely can be a lonely experience, it doesn’t have to be. People are not alone with no contact when working remotely. Employee groups are typically linked online and can communicate by video, voice, and online chat. Remote workers are also surrounded by their family members and pets. Loneliness seems a far cry from the reality of the situation. Of course, all situations are different. 

7. Remote work is death to company culture.

Company culture is all about getting work teams to communicate better, get along better and form a company “family”. Many people think that working remotely brings that culture to an end, but it doesn’t have to. With technological advancements, companies can still drum up team spirit online via video, voice, and online chat services. 

8. Poor communication is bred from remote work. 

Many people believe that remote workers are cut off from the rest of the company and the world, but that’s just not the case. With so many apps and programs available, it’s easier than ever for workers to connect and communicate. Now, instead of playing it by ear to chat to other employees and get decisions made, appointments can be scheduled, and the work can actually get done with no time-wasting. 

9. Remote work leads to limited training refresher options.

When working in the office, refresher courses are organized, and staff members can easily keep their skills up to date. Many believe that this is a convenience because of location and that remote workers will lose out on training opportunities. The reality in recent times is that courses can be done remotely, and workers can, in their own time, work on keeping their skills and training relevant and up to date. 

10. The home office space is unhealthy.

Many people are under the misconception that people who work at home struggle with their posture, lighting, comfort, and a general sense of well-being. The opposite is true. When working at home, workers can take time to stretch, go for some fresh air outside, and create a personalized workspace that is far more comfortable than at work as it is based on their unique needs and physical requirements.  

11. Remote working leads to social awkwardness.

For some time now, people have mistakenly believed that if someone spends all their time working remotely, they lose their social skills. That’s just not true. As a remote worker, you will still be communicating appropriately with the outside world, and just because you work remotely, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop all outside-of-work social encounters. You can join a sports team, a book club, or start a hobby – all great ways to meet new people and socialize. 

12. Working remotely is risky for company data security.

Data security is a huge issue for many companies. In fact, it’s been a deterrent for many. But with online data backups that are encrypted, all a company has to do is provide the software to all employees who work remotely and insist that it is used on all devices. This software usually updates on a daily basis, and therefore no data needs to be stored locally. Also, for added security, businesses can supply devices for remote workers to use so that they never use their personal devices to access sensitive business data. 

13. Remote working is costly.

Remote working doesn’t have to be costly at all. As long as you have a computer and access to the internet, you can work from home without having to pay anything extra. For a business, if all employees work remotely, they can save on massive overheads by cutting rent, electricity, and other premises-related expenses from the equation.

14. Colleagues struggle to work together on projects when working remotely.

There’s definitely a misconception that colleagues cannot collaborate efficiently when working remotely. Again, technology has solved this problem in recent times, and there is no reason why colleagues cannot communicate extensively online and via phone or video chat. Using online cloud-based systems to share information makes it quick and easy for employees to collaborate on the same projects while still working somewhat independently. 

15. Remote workers make less money. 

Many people think that remote workers earn less money, and so remote working is avoided by those who have financial ambitions. This is just a myth. Remote workers who push productivity and get tasks done are highly regarded and valued. There is no reason why remote workers would earn any less than office employees, if they are getting the same work done.

16. There are numerous distractions at home to work remotely successfully.

Yes, there are distractions at home, but are there “too many”? In some instances, the distractions can actually be incentive to get the work done early on so that there is spare time to indulge in all of the distractions. Perhaps the distractions aren’t really distractions, but are actually incentives!

17. Remote work meetings just aren’t effective.

If you are one of the people that buy into the idea of a remote work meeting being less effective than an in-office meeting, think again. Remote work meetings are often done online, with several people from different locations logging into an online video or call service. No one has to waste work hours driving to a central meeting location or waste more time getting required documents to each other after the meeting. 

During a remote work meeting, there’s pressure not to waste anyone’s time, and because all members are seated at their computers (where everything is stored), they are able to cover more information and access documents and data required in an instant. This might just make a meeting more efficient and effective, don’t you think?

18. Hiring new people to work remotely is risky for the business.

Business owners in the past have been a little scared to hire remote workers. There’s a general fear that remote workers will sign a contract, take home the salary, but not actually produce the work. With the work landscape changing, more and more people have been required to work remotely. This has been a great opportunity for people to prove that they can handle working from home and be responsible.

19. Remote workers shirk company hours.

Many people believe that remote workers shirk company hours. They are seen to spend their time doing their own grocery shopping, watching YouTube, going to the gym, or getting caught up in other chores. The reality is that remote workers are often inspired to get their work done on weekends, evenings, or the early hours of the morning. A remote worker’s salary is typically outcome-based, and so if you choose this line of work and shirk on company hours without having the work required already completed, you will be the one to suffer. So…myth busted!

20. People won’t take remote workers seriously (lack trust).

This myth can certainly be busted in recent years. After remote working has become the norm, it would be outrageous not to take a remote worker seriously. Trust has been developed, and remote workers are consistently proving themselves. It’s a great and serious career path – where you work from doesn’t define how professional or effective you are.

Last word

If you’re worried that remote working is going to cause your career to plummet or stump it, think again. Remote working is a reality for many businesses.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.