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
    TJ, 13 Sep 2004 @ 6:47pm

    Where I am in the USA also

    I work a Sunday through Thursday shift when the rest of my office is Monday through Friday. Sundays allow me to maintain software systems that staff would freak out to have down during the work week. It is effective, and makes intricate processes much less error prone thanks to minimal interruptions and distractions. The planned tasks clearly get done, I'm quite productive, and I get no complaints about my work. But you wouldn't know that from the grumbling of some coworkers, who by the way would have a fit if asked to work on Sundays. Management waivers sometimes on the arrangement not because it isn't working, but because some managers are inclined to oil the "squeeky wheels" despite the lack of an actual problem.

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