Common Misconceptions About Working From Home
I went back and forth with my previous employers about working from home. The answer was always a flat-out, "No." When I asked for a reason, the responses I received were to the point. They mostly revolved around "Do you still want to have a job?"
It was a common misconception that work could not be done from home. Most of the other departments were allowing employees with similar positions to work from home. However, mine was not. The department head believed that he had to make it look like we were required to work in the office because, if we did not, we would lose our jobs. He also believed that if we showed that our work could be done home, then we would all be replaced with contractors.
Contract positions are the exact type of positions I'm applying to right now (although I'm open to W2 opportunities, as well). Contract positions always intimidated me before, because employment is not guaranteed. They are, in some cases, better for the employer because a) it saves them money because they don't have to pay benefits and b) there are fewer strings attached.
My department had already started contracting their mowing and had noticed a decrease in quality. Due to that experience, the department has a very negative view of contractors in general. Plus, everyone wants to keep their benefits.
It was never about still having a job or benefits to me. I have a background in business administration, so I always take a "behind the scenes" approach.
Some people are not cut out to work from home. This was a huge issue when people were forced to work from home in March 2020. Some employees simply are not comfortable on a computer and require to be in an office with quick access to an IT team that can support them. I'm tech-savvy, and I'm usually the one providing the tech support to my co-workers. Some people view going to the office as a mental break from their family. I felt that to an extent, but I'm lucky to have a home office to be able to have the same break.
Ultimately, it's a misconception that showing your employees can work from home means upper management will replace them with contractors. In today's world, if they wanted to do that, they would have found a way already. There are many benefits to having W2 employees. W2 employees are usually only working one or two jobs at most, so you have their full attention. Employers also have more control over W2 employees than contractors. Contractors often are working multiple contracted jobs as they need backups.
It's also a common misconception that everyone who works from home is unreachable or producing lower quality results. This is dependent on the individual, and some people thrive working from home and others do not. Some feel there are more distractions at home than in the office. Personally, I find there are just as many distractions in an office full of people.
Sometimes it's about control. Employers feel they are able to control their employees better in an office, but it's actually easier to utilize screen monitoring software than to install cameras in a workplace.
If a job can be done from home, in my opinion, it should be done from home if the employee is able to thrive and wants to work from home.
Happy employees are high-quality workers who will stick around.