Can't Trust This Telecommuter

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

For all the talk about how we're soon going to be a nation of telecommuters, thanks to new technologies, Broadband Reports points out a study that shows one very big hurdle: most employers still don't trust their employees to work unsupervised. The study was done in Australia, so there's a chance the results wouldn't apply elsewhere, but it does seem like something that is likely to be a major hindering factor for many potential telecommuting opportunities. Of course, it's not just the bosses that don't trust telecommuters: 75% of employees think their telecommuting co-workers are simply goofing off and "are not working at all." At some point, however, someone is going to do a little cost-benefit analysis and realize that office space is a pretty big cost, and trusting your workers to actually do what you've asked them to do could actually pay off. Of course, on the flip side, expect to see many new technologies, applications and services to help solve this problem by somehow "monitoring" the work of telecommuting employees -- which is likely to make most workers only feel even less trusted.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2006 @ 1:10pm

    Face time

    I'm considered an exempt employee in the IT department of the private 4-year college where I work. The emphasis from my supervisor is not placed on production, but on the amount of time spent at my desk. Also, face time is a consideration.

    I firmly believe that the number of hours worked means nothing next to output, however my supervisor has stated directly that this work is "not to be considered like factory work", "work weeks are often going to be longer than 45 hours", and "40 hours is the minimum work week."

    Also, work done from home has absolutely zero weight here. For example, being home sick yet spending all day working on a large project and producing great results? Still counts as a sick day because I'm not at my desk doing the same work.

    It's time for employees to raise the standards bar for what we expect from our employers; this can't forever be a one-way street with employers constantly expecting more from employees without going above the bare minimum requirements themselves.

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