Remote Working 101 – What Bosses Truly Think About It!

All those "Remote Working 101" blog posts out there make it seem easy to set up a distributed company. But it seems bosses are not quite so keen on remote working, despite their employees championing remote work arrangements. Why? And how will this change for remote workers' futures? 
by Billy Stone » Remote Work Nerd » 
last updated on November 13th
Remote working is a divisive topic in the workplace, and remote work arrangements are becoming increasingly popular. But remote workers may not be as happy as they seem; recent research has found that remote employees feel pressured to stay connected all day long.

This makes it difficult for them to switch off from work at the end of the day. This means that remote workers have less time with their family or friends on weekends.

What bosses truly think about remote work

So, before we dive deeper, let's clear one thing – remote work is not a brand new concept, yet it is still surrounded by plenty of myths and concerns. We asked a few companies who repelled remote work and some that are still supporting it for opinions.

All this is fuelling debates about why exactly bosses are turning their backs on remote setups faster than many experts predicted, what it means for the future of remote work, and how it will impact employees who want to cling to their pandemic working routines.

Ready? Let’s go!

The "Only when hell freezes over" Bosses

Michael, a 28-year-old manager says: "All this remote work 101 is gibberish. It might sound like a cliche, but if you want to be successful at work then your entire team must work together on-site. Working from home just isn't as effective when all of us are in one place. By encouraging our team to meet face-to-face, we can build relationships and bounce ideas off each other to create better products for our clients. There's no way remote working could ever replace this!".

Sara, a 37-year-old manager says: "Managing a team from the office is better than working in remote teams". She also adds: "If all of my workers were remote I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on them. Also, if they're all remote then we can never go for a drink after work together and that's just not as fun!" The 31-year old manager loves how she can ask someone else something quick without getting up to find somebody in another room who might be free at that moment.

Peter, a 49-year-old manager says: "I don't like remote working because if I need to chat with someone it's very hard for me to get their attention, especially when they're not in the office". He also adds: "I don't trust remote workers who live outside of the office. Despite all of the 101 work remote tips you can pack into your company to make it easier for teams on-site and off, nothing will ever beat face-to-face meetings.".

So, is this all about remote working not being as effective at creating a fun and friendly atmosphere? Or is it just the fact that we're never going to be able to work together in person, so why bother trying? Here are some opinions which disagree with the above statements.

woman working remotely from home

The "Hell Yeah" Bosses

Joseph, a 33-year-old manager says: "Since our company switched to being filly remote, productivity skyrocketed. This gave us more time to focus on quality rather than rushing the workout. Now, our remote workers are equipped with all that they need to complete their tasks effectively and efficiently".

Jennifer, a 29-year-old manager says: "Remote working allows our employees to have a better work/life balance. They can have time to themselves, but still, contribute great results from the comfort of their properties. It also allows us to hire more remote workers which means we can find the best talent out there and not just those who live nearby".

Marry, a 22-year-old manager says: "I've always worked remote, and honestly, I don't know how it would be working in an office. Perks of remote work are great communication tools like Slack or Skype, better hours for me because the timezone difference allows me to work when my colleagues are sleeping so they get a full day's worth of work done, and I don't have to spend time commuting".

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are two types of managers. There are those remote working fans, and then there are the remote work haters. The reason behind some haters is that they will go to greater lengths than their employees to get people together in person. This shows how important it is for some companies to be on-site so that collaboration can be at its best!

What the statistics say

72% of US managers would prefer all their subordinates to be in the office. A whopping 50% expect staff at least two days per week, and an equal percentage is looking for three day weeks!

But it's not just America; CMI commissioned polls across Europe with similar results - 72%, 51%. Only South Africa bucked this trend by asking its workers how often they work remotely: only 15-30 minutes per day was reported.

Are companies missing the 101s of remote work?

When it comes to remote work, there are tons of dos and don'ts. If remote working 101 teaches us anything, it's that remote workers are still employees who face similar challenges as their counterparts in the office.

CEO smiling

The remote worker is still accountable for deadlines, performance, and results just like their on-site colleagues are.

The key factor here isn't whether the employee works from home or an office but instead how much freedom they have to manage their own time and work.

As remote workers gain more independence over how, when, and where they work managers need to trust them.

Therein Lies The Problem

Some managers need to adjust their leadership styles and let employees take more control. While remote working allows for better work/life balance, it can also be a tough transition for managers who want to closely monitor their employees' every move.

Remote workers are indeed more capable of managing themselves than they were in the past, but there will always be limits and requirements placed on them by employers. The challenge here isn't remote versus office, but remote working and how it is implemented by companies.

Why Remote Work (still) Matters

It's no secret remote working is becoming more and more popular. There are many reasons remote work has become so successful, one of which being the ability to hire from a larger pool of candidates than you would if you required them to be local.

Some companies and managers want to create an environment where everyone can thrive and that means making sure remote working is available.

Remote work allows companies to find the best talent out there (by setting remote-work-friendly frameworks and How Companies Set Salaries for Remote Jobs)  and not just those who live nearby, remote working will continue to grow in popularity as "many cite increased productivity due to uninterrupted hours of operation", for this reason, remote workers are expected to increase the next few years.

Drawbacks of Remote Work

On the other hand, remote working also has its drawbacks. Employees are often more isolated, communication can be difficult. Because it's harder to manage between remote workers and their office counterparts, telecommuting may create an inequitable environment for employees.

Especially for those who cannot work from home due to family responsibilities or health conditions - all of which contribute to a greater risk of burnout among remote workers.

Woman doing remote call

The remote worker is typically expected to be on-call at all times, which can certainly take a toll. But remote workers are not alone in their plight as more and more companies have begun adopting remote working practices.

This means that it's time for managers to start thinking about how they will implement remote work programs within the company as remote working is only going to continue growing over the next few years.

Wich 101s of remote work actually work?

If remote working is going to keep growing, bosses and managers need to figure out how they will implement remote work programs within the company as remote workers are expected to increase in number over the next few years.

The challenge here isn't remote versus office but remote working and how it is implemented by companies.

Here are the most crucial steps to implement remote work into your company:

  1. remote and onsite workers must be equally accountable for deadlines, performance, and results
  2. managers need to trust remote employees with more freedom over how they work
  3. remote workers are indeed more capable of managing themselves than in the past but there will still be limits put by employers - it's not about remote versus office but rather remote working and how it is implemented by companies
  4. if remote working is going to keep growing, bosses and managers need to figure out how they will implement remote work programs within the company as remote workers are expected to increase in number over the next few years.
  5. next, you need to make remote working a priority for the company.
  6. finally, remote workers need to have access to all the same information and resources available in their office counterparts.

Conclusion

Remote work allows companies to find the best talent out there and not just those who live nearby, it will continue to grow in popularity.

For this reason, people working remotely are expected (looks like it's already happening) for more than 15% of all jobs very soon!

On the other hand, remote workers also have their drawbacks such as being isolated from office culture or difficult communication because you can't always see your teammate face-to-face every day but at least now we know why they're doing so well.

This means that it's time for managers to start thinking about how they will implement remote working 101s within their company.