The Future of Work Misconceptions: Expectation vs. Reality

June 9, 2022
future of work misconceptions

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The Future of Work Misconceptions: Expectation vs. Reality

Remote work started a long time ago, but the emphasis is suddenly upon us now as the pandemic has made a buzzword in the past two years. Companies made their move, and now we see many employees fancied working from home or away from the office.

This is further intensified by nomadic digital workers who have posted incredible pictures of the beauty of remote work and exploring the world while you work. However, the reality of all these expectations may not be what you think.

So as we transition into the future of work, what are the expectations and reality of this concept?

What does the future of work mean?

As more people opt for flexible and remote work, employers are scrambling to adapt to the future of work within their current work infrastructure. Several studies indicate that by 2035, there will be over a billion remote workers worldwide. 

The future of work is here, and companies are undergoing a massive transformation to remain relevant while pushing the idea.

Here are the top 5 common misconceptions about the reality of the future of work:

1. You own your schedule every time

Expectation

One of the biggest future of work misconceptions is that you think you are in control of your schedule. You are not, especially if you work for a company with a culture to follow. Many people think you can wake up at any time and do your work whenever. Now, that’s entirely off the charts if you don’t want to get fired.

Reality

Companies that work with remote workers treat them like regular office employees and must adhere to office times. This means waking up at 8 or 9 a.m., going to work, and ensuring that work is done and submitted as usual.

Exceptions

Working from home is different from freelancing. While you can have your own work schedule with freelancing, especially when working on a project-based, WFH job means you’re an employee.

2. Work from anywhere

Expectation

The future of work is the ability to work from anywhere. Whether it is a beach, a bar, on a cruise, or from the rooftop of a 5-star hotel, work is possible anywhere. However, it is not entirely true because remote working has essential requirements for work to be successful and productive.

Reality

Remote work gives you freedom, but you need to be in an area with good internet reception that enables you to connect with your clients. This means you cannot work wherever, forgoing the amenities that make it productive. You can work wherever you want, but you must consider your productivity before your personal interests.

Also Read: The Evolution Of Flexible Workspaces And Where We Are Headed

3. Perfect work-life balance

Expectation

When hearing the word “work-life balance,” you must be thinking about a happy employee working on his laptop and doing some yogas afterward. But this is only another future of work misconceptions. Or even go surfing or go on a date in broad daylight during normal office hours.

Reality

Being burnt out happens with remote work, as many struggles to balance working in a lonely space with no colleagues and a monotonous daily routine. The borderline between work and personal life is mixed up. In fact, remote workers worked longer hours, with 10% more hours logged each week compared to working at the office. 

However, the situation could be manageable when working in coworking spaces. With collaborative office spaces fit for the future of work, companies and employees can simulate the office atmosphere to help them create the perfect work-life balance.

4. No need to effort

Expectation

While at some point, you can work while watching Netflix and binging on popcorn and soda, that’s not exactly what will happen. Although you don’t have to dress up like in a regular office, you still need to prepare for the day if you want to be productive.

Reality

Many office programs are over Zoom or video calls, so employees need to dress appropriately for their virtual roles if they want to succeed. When work is met with a lackadaisical attitude, you better start finding another company.

5. Increased productivity and collaboration

Expectation

Studies have shown that remote work reduces stress levels and improves productivity with fewer distractions. Additionally, it is easy to stay connected to other employees using chat apps and communication channels.

Reality

Remote employees need systems that enable them to connect faster, respond swiftly, and that means understanding how communication tools like Slack, Skype, and Zoom work. For employees that are not tech-savvy, this can reduce productivity and hamper seamless collaboration among teams.

Also Read: Why Coworking Spaces Are Perfect For Flexible Working

The Bottom Line

The future of work is here, and whether we are prepared or not, we must embrace all or part of it to remain functional and effective in today’s workspace. The pandemic stirred the need for organizations to implement flexible work environments and accept remote employees for business continuity.

The keyword here is “flexibility.” The truth about work is that you don’t get the desired result through a loose work style. We should try to find a balance, not between being organized and being unorganized, but between having self-discipline and knowing the best way to work for ourselves.

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