Monday, February 4, 2008

This Is Why It's Better From Another Time Zone

That's right, kids, if your boss is in another timezone, s/he can't bust you enjoying margaritas on the deck on a nice summer day.

But seriously folks, even though this Business Week article brings up that feeble, one bad telecommuting program at a single company "Left Below" study from RPI yet again, it does raise some interesting points about telecommuting.

Business Week notes that you're most likely to have people "working" from home when you don't update your management skills to accommodate actually measuring what people do, rather than how much they show up. You're apparently more likely to be bummed out by your telecommuting program if you "...haven’t been able to figure out a way to effecitvely measure short-and-long-term output—rather than activity—for people [you] rarely see. 'That’s the single biggest factor for success or failure,' says the Virginia Labor Studies Center director Robert Trumble, who has studied telecommuting since the 1970s."

The moral of the story: good telecommuting programs with well-trained managers who know what they're about tend to make for happy and productive workers, no matter where they are. Badly designed programs with managers who don't adapt their style away from face time and more toward outcomes will make everyone miserable.

And that IBM rule about all teams having to get together ever three days -- that's gold, baby. Gold!

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