Blog Entries:

Some posts from The Methodology Blog around the time of Remote Work Confession

Archives by Subject:

More Resources

Remote Work Confession

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by Robby Slaughter

Robby Slaughter

Under the condition of anonymity, a friend recently admitted to me that he loved his new job but one factor frustrated him to no end. He explained that “99% of what I do at work could be done remotely, but I have to be in the office 100% of the time.”

The details of this case are even more gut-wrenching than I can reveal. My friend has had a career of exceptional independence, where he has completed countless freelance projects without the overhead of an office. His new job for the mystery firm is one working in marketing and social media. Worst of all, the company is a hometown darling. They’ve been profiled over and over again as a great example of an innovative Indiana enterprise.

It’s not as if talking about telecommuting is anything new here on The Methodology Blog. We had five blog posts in Remote Work Week. We’ve predicted the telework revolution. We’ve complained when journalists say that a four day week is “weird news.”  We constantly quote our own philosophy on workplace productivity, which is simply:

Please conduct your work wherever and whenever you feel you can be most productive, most efficient, most effective and most satisfied.

Why are we taking on the location of work as a battleground in productivity? Aren’t there more important factors like technology, management styles, or workflow design?

It’s true that all those can help. But none is particularly effective until you address the fundamental issue: empowering stakeholders to get work done. The office is usually a place where we manage to make progress despite the distractions, politics and constant monitoring. If we’re less worried about where employees are working and more focused on meaningful outcomes, productivity will rise. People will accomplish more, and those who can’t work without being micromanaged will end up elsewhere.

My friend’s employer needs to take notice. Stop demanding face time from your workers. And if they can get 99% of their work done from elsewhere, you’re probably making them less productive by controlling their hours. Work is about getting work done. Let people prove themselves through their results, not their obedience.

❖ ❖ ❖

Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Remote Work Revolution - As The Methodology Blog has previously discussed, facetime is a paradox. Strangely enough, many people still believe that being present in the office means they’re being productive. Why is that? Read on »
Remote Work Week - This week, The Methodology Blog at Slaughter Development will be covering the latest perspectives on  working remotely. Read on »
Remote Work Week: Research - As part of Remote Work Week, yesterday’s edition of The Methodology Blog introduced the relationship between telecommuting and happiness. Today we will discuss the major research into telework. Read on »

Tags: , , , , ,

Want to learn more? Register now for the 2011 Productivity Series

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site