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Busting the Most Prevalent Myths About Remote Work and Leadership
Over the last couple of years, remote work and leadership have become ubiquitous. Some myths still exist about the shortcomings of these new work and leadership models. Suffering productivity, expensive infrastructure, and challenges relating to team building and employee training are, however, easy to debunk.
The global pandemic landed us in the middle of the greatest remote work experiment the world has seen. Suddenly, millions of people the world over found themselves having to deal with the kinks and upsides of using their home computers as their sole window to their workplace.
By and large, this experiment has been successful. Some, however, still cling to the idea that remote work can never hope to match in-office work in terms of engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.
Remote work is the new normal.
Is that true? Or are we dealing with mere myths about remote work? Let’s take a closer look at the validity of such claims.
Myth No. 1: Productivity is the First Casualty of Remote Work
Remote workers may face more temptations to scroll through their Facebook feeds during the workday without a boss looking over their shoulders. At the same time, they deal with fewer social distractions from co-workers and don’t take breaks as often as they would at the office. Thus, remote workers put in more work hours than they would in a face-to-face setting.
Not sharing an office with other employees means that remote workers are less likely to catch colds and other infectious illnesses. Thus, they don’t need as many days off to recover as on-site workers.
According to a recent survey, the overwhelming majority of employers found that the productivity of their organizations did not decline due to remote work. Many noted that productivity had increased.
Myth No. 2: Communication Suffers Due to Remote Work
Communication in a remote setting is more challenging than in a face-to-face work environment. Here is where the leadership skills of the executives get to shine.
In the realm of leadership coaching, effective online communication has not been a problem. The same is true for organizations whose leaders are competent communicators. Leaders, who delegate well, know how to engage their reports, and find it easy to motivate the workforce, can perform well through remote communication channels.
Remote communication offers some surprising benefits. It can dissuade managers and leaders from micromanaging workers as such an approach becomes unsustainable.
Many will be surprised to find that they can measure employee productivity by projects and tasks. Constantly breathing down the necks of workers will, therefore, become unnecessary.
Furthermore, most modern communication platforms accommodate the seamless exchange of ideas online.
Myth No. 3: Remote Work is too Complicated and Expensive
This one is simply untrue. Remote communication platforms are capable, simple for everyone to use, and effective.
Cloud-based platforms are cheap and straightforward to implement. They offer outstanding compatibility. Users can connect from various devices and take part in the discussions.
Remote communication is simple and cheap.
As a leadership coaching professional, I have had to rely extensively on online communication technology lately. I haven’t had problems delivering my executive coaching sessions online and connecting with my clients more frequently than I could have face-to-face.
Myth No. 4: Remote Team Building is an Impossible Undertaking
Complex activities like team building lend themselves better to face-to-face interaction than remote communication. That said, it is possible to build team cohesion online. It just takes a different level of commitment from the stakeholders.
It is up to the leaders to:
- Provide an effective communication platform.
- Encourage employees to interact, and collaborate in a virtual water cooler-like experience.
- Strengthen the company culture through virtual events, interdepartmental challenges, reward systems, etc.
Myth No.5: Remote Work Makes Employee Training Impossible
Online communication platforms offer many opportunities for rich and engaging employee training activities. There is no limit to how many employees can participate in these online training programs. This form of training allows for gamified rewards while handing users complete control over learning timelines.
Regardless of how the global pandemic evolves, remote work and leadership are here to stay.
Executive coaching has adapted by focusing on the competencies leaders need to maintain and build their organizational cultures around remote or hybrid work models.
Want to learn more about remote leadership skills? Check out my books.