Telecommuting is becoming increasingly common in today’s work world, which is great news for working cancer survivors who can benefit greatly from job flexibility. Nonetheless, according to a recent blog by CAC partner Flexjobs.com, a number of myths about “working from home” continue to give pause to both employers and employees who are considering it as an option. But the truth is that there are many upsides to remote work that can benefit everyone. So if you’re wondering whether remote work is for you, read on:
- Myth: Only people who work in tech/telemarketing/fill-in-the-blank can work remotely.
Reality: Telecommuting opportunities exist for people in all industries. In preparing for this blog, I scanned FlexJobs.com’s excellent flexible-work job board and found remote working opportunities in the fields of science, education, marketing, hospitality, customer service and many, many more.
- Myth: Telecommuters are less productive than their in-office counterparts (and/or are slackers).
Reality: Research has found that remote workers are actually more productive than on-site staff because they aren’t distracted by ambient noise or chatty colleagues. Additionally, many will voluntarily work during the hours they would otherwise spend commuting, which means they may end up putting in more hours than their colleagues do over the course of a week.
- Myth: Remote work is for introverts only.
Reality: The best remote workers are proactive about reaching out to both bosses and colleagues. Strategic check-ins regarding projects — as well as check-ins for friendly conversations — are key for maintaining open lines of communication and productive working relationships. That often plays right to extroverts’ strengths!
- Myth: There’s no way your boss would let you telecommute.
Reality: Do you ever take work home to complete after office hours or over the weekend? Then the reality is that you already spend some time telecommuting. And even if you have personally never done work from your home, it’s possible that someone else is and/or there are policies in place for employees who wish to exercise that option. Start by checking your employee handbook to see if there are any telecommuting policies already in place, and have them ready to refer to when you go to talk to your boss.
If you’re interested in finding a telecommuting job, we encourage you to check out the listings at Flexjobs. Flexjobs offers 50% off of membership fees to Cancer and Careers’ supporters when you enter the promo code “CANCER” on the billing page. If the membership fee creates a hardship, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist with the cost of the membership.
If you want to learn more about how to request telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation, please watch the recording of our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar on Working Through Treatment.