Poor Work Management

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Poor Work Management

  • While I can appreciate the idea of being in the same space as others in the company to an extent, I don't miss most of the in-office experience. I've worked for many places where managers just don't believe that work can get done unless they can see people sitting at desks and that's a problem for the business. I think over the past year, we've seen that many people can be successful when working remotely. Obviously not every job can be done remotely, but many can work well that way.

    The idea that "we pay a lot for this space" is a bad reason to get people into the office. As you mentioned, that money is already spent and it might be a better option to see about releasing that space in favor of giving people a choice. From what I've head, a lot of people are opting to work remotely if given the choice - avoiding long commutes, time away from family, and allowing some freedom to handle small tasks during the day without needing to take a whole day off.

  • It is silly to look back an investment and now try to justify it. I know at RG we are examining if we need to make investments going forward, but we are also looking to find ways to re-use our space differently, no matter what we do.

  • Peter Schott wrote:

    While I can appreciate the idea of being in the same space as others in the company to an extent, I don't miss most of the in-office experience. I've worked for many places where managers just don't believe that work can get done unless they can see people sitting at desks and that's a problem for the business. I think over the past year, we've seen that many people can be successful when working remotely. Obviously not every job can be done remotely, but many can work well that way.

    The idea that "we pay a lot for this space" is a bad reason to get people into the office. As you mentioned, that money is already spent and it might be a better option to see about releasing that space in favor of giving people a choice. From what I've head, a lot of people are opting to work remotely if given the choice - avoiding long commutes, time away from family, and allowing some freedom to handle small tasks during the day without needing to take a whole day off.

    Well put, Peter.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Peter Schott wrote:

    The idea that "we pay a lot for this space" is a bad reason to get people into the office. As you mentioned, that money is already spent and it might be a better option to see about releasing that space in favor of giving people a choice. From what I've head, a lot of people are opting to work remotely if given the choice - avoiding long commutes, time away from family, and allowing some freedom to handle small tasks during the day without needing to take a whole day off.

    On the other hand, "we pay a lot for your time too".  In fact, probably lots more than for the space.  And since the companies pay for your time, they own it, as far as I'm concerned.  From my eleven years in an IT management position responsible for seven people, employees need supervision and oversight.

    Now I've never been in favor of lots meetings, in fact I've been sort of famous for my feeling that:

    "If a meeting involves more than three people and/or lasts more than fifteen minutes, you are wasting someone's time".

    But management needs to be and should be constantly aware of what employees are doing, what progress is being made, and what today's needs are.  You can't really do this without close oversight.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • "Close Oversight" <> "I can see you sitting at your desk".  If you think that you have to actually see someone at a desk in order to manage them, there's a much bigger issue. I've worked remote teams - we have progress updates, status boards, task lists, etc - we record our progress in those and the managers can see work being done/recorded and progress being made towards the projects. So management being constantly aware is quite possible without actually seeing someone sitting in a chair.

    Sadly, too many managers do tend to think that unless they see an employee sitting at a desk, that employee isn't being productive. Yes, some employees may need that close, visible, supervision, but I think this last year has shown that many do not - or at least not to the extent that managers seem to think.

  • Peter Schott wrote:

    "Close Oversight" <> "I can see you sitting at your desk".  If you think that you have to actually see someone at a desk in order to manage them, there's a much bigger issue.

    Well, Peter, my understanding of management is that there is one he!! of a lot more to it than 'I can see you sitting at your desk'.  That's exactly why I got out of it after eleven years.  It just wasn't worth putting up with all the - you know what.

    All employees do not always have all the best ideas, and do not always all the answers, so the interaction is critical to getting the best job done.  Before my IT career began I had a pretty good background in Psychology and Sociology.  There's LOTS more to it than just seeing you sitting at your desk.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • I agree that there should be a lot more to management than looking at people sitting in desks, but I know of too many managers who can't seem to see beyond that to actually knowing how to measure productivity. 🙁

    I know I'm not really cut out for management, but I do know that I've had some bad managers in the past - and far too many people who don't want remote workers because they don't trust their workers to do their jobs if they can't walk by them and see them throughout the day. I agree that managers should be in touch with their employees regularly, but there are many ways to do that in a meaningful way.

    I do agree that we're paid for our time, but a lot of people who work remotely are salaried and are working to get the job done. So if someone is getting their work done and there's no actual need for core-hours, then if they shift an hour or two in order to take care of an errand or kid, but make up for it later ... same work hours being paid for, but not during the 8-6 window.  Now if there _is_ a need for core hours, that's a different story - but even then the time required to run an errand close to home is going to be a lot less in many cases for an employee so they don't have to take a day off to do that.  (Also not assuming someone decides to go completely nocturnal, only working when nobody else is - that tends to not work well. 🙂 )

  • 'I know I'm not really cut out for management, but I do know that I've had some bad managers in the past - and far too many people who don't want remote workers because they don't trust their workers to do their jobs if they can't walk by them and see them throughout the day. I agree that managers should be in touch with their employees regularly, but there are many ways to do that in a meaningful way.'

    just a couple quick examples here:

    1. I had one co-worker who was an alcoholic.  He would not have done well in a WFH environment, in fact could have been dangerous.
    2. Had another co-worker who was consulting for a previous employer while supposedly working from home in my group.

     

     

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • I will agree that there are some people who should not work remotely. However, I'd also say that many can work remotely and to prohibit that just because some should/can not is short-sighted. The managers I'm thinking of had no trust for any employee they couldn't see - whether or not that was justified. (and often it was not justified)  I have heard the stories of people working multiple jobs simultaneously, often doing a poor job at each. When found out, they're terminated and I don't know that it was worth trying to game the system.

    But there's a difference between a bad employee or one who shouldn't be left alone and the many people out there who are capable of working remotely. That's a concern for managers, but ideally it should be something that can be worked out in some way other than "everyone has to come in to the office". I know several companies I'm working with now have given many of the employees options - come in on a set schedule, work fully remote, or similar. Many of the people I work with opted for the "stay remote" choice - went in to clear out their area and let it go to someone else.

  • Peter Schott wrote:

    I will agree that there are some people who should not work remotely. However, I'd also say that many can work remotely and to prohibit that just because some should/can not is short-sighted.

    .

    And now we are into the whole area of perceived equality.  How do you decide who can and who can't?  What if your decision has to cross ethnic or gender lines, and all that.

    Sometimes the best way to handle a problem is to anticipate it instead of reacting.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

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