Defending the Freelancer – 3 Myths on Remote Working Debunked
At AlwaysOn, we’re picking apart burgeoning concepts in professionalism and working in the digital age.
As purveyors of Internet connectivity and the leading Wi-Fi presence in South Africa, we’re particularly interested in the rise and rise of what is known now as remote working.
It’s by no means a novel concept, but as the digital blanket of now continues to drift slowly over society, many a trope that was comfortably part of modernity is now facing a paradigm change, even rebirth. Such has gone the way of today’s working world, and many a professional life. Specialists of all industries and sectors are now starting to shun the office concept, and the 9-5. As millennials come of age, more and more are embracing a working lifestyle now possible only because of the digital revolution: the remote lifestyle, or the way of the freelancer.
But with the new inevitably comes the fear of it. So as digital professionals question the need for a prescribed working space, many in the working world – mostly potential clients to this workforce – continue to hesitate and wonder, and assign myths countering the efficacy of this new working style.
These are the most common myths, and this is why they’re entirely debunk-able:
Freelancers Can’t be Trusted
Many a remote work nay-sayer will easily default to the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ argument. This is the notion that freelancers and remote workers, removed, isolated and unseen as they are, cannot possibly be counted on to be productive. To them, in the absence of constant monitoring, it seems a remote worker will inevitably drop the ball on every project, and miss every deadline.
In their Entrepreneur.com joint article, 4 Myths Debunked About Employees Working Remotely the co-Founders of Greenback Expat Tax Services, David and Carrie McKeegan offer an enlightening counter: ‘If you are hiring people you need to keep tabs on all day long to ensure productivity, you aren’t hiring the right people, or perhaps you need to rethink your management style… Management isn’t about physically watching your team members work, it’s about monitoring their overall productivity.’
Freelancers Get Distracted
There is a natural assumption from remote worker sceptics that in the absence of a working environment, all other instances of work, and work ethic, are then absent too. And we suppose that’s an understandable hypothesis.
But it simply lacks grounds when considered closely.
For one thing, remote workers do not enjoy luxuries afforded by full-time employment – benefits, security…a guaranteed monthly salary. This fact alone puts to sleep the myth, as simply for the maintenance of their very livelihood, remote workers cannot ever afford to let distraction hinder output.
No Brick and Mortar, No Business
Shopfronts, and offices, and HQs are all swiftly becoming the operational standard of the past. As the world becomes digital, and as consumers continue to consume from wherever takes their fancy, physical space, or brick and mortar, is becoming increasingly null.
David and Carrie add this point: ‘The world really is changing and with the advent of technology, consumers don’t need to walk into a storefront to believe you are real. Without a physical location, you just need to find more creative ways to earn your prospective customers’ trust… If you are operating virtually, your website is the face of your business.’
So to put it another way, as long as you’re connected, you’re in business.
As South Africa’s preeminent connectivity provider, with thousands of Hotspots nationwide, AlwaysOn continues to be a supporting partner to the ever-widening remote worker fraternity.
Click here for more on AlwaysOn and our comprehensive range of Wi-Fi products.