how to overcome your worries about letting people work remotely

When you talk to managers who have remote teams or who are thinking about moving to a more dispersed team set-up, you hear the same concerns come up over and over again about productivity – worries about how to ensure that communication and collaboration don’t suffer, how to track productivity when the work isn’t happening right there on site, and how to keep people from falling out of the loop.

Luckily, remote work has been common enough for long enough now that we’ve started to be able to see that all of these are surmountable. Here’s how to approach these big worries about remote team productivity.

1. Communication. Frankly, even managers of on-site teams often could do a better job with communication. But it’s especially crucial to have the right communications systems in place when your team is remote; when people aren’t right down the hall, you really can’t leave your systems informal and ad hoc. The key here is to establish clear communications and stick to them – whether it’s a combination of weekly one-on-one’s by phone and having everyone on Slack in the meantime, or any other system that works well for your team – and then be vigilant about sticking to it. And you need your team members to be vigilant as well, which means setting clear expectations about how you need people to operate in this regard and paying attention to whether or not it’s really happening.

Also, you should make a point of being alert to signs that a remote employee is disconnected or disengaged. If you realize you’re not hearing from someone much and you aren’t quite sure where they stand on key milestones in their work, don’t sit back and wait to see how it plays out. Relatively quickly, name what you’re seeing (“I’m hearing from you less than I used to, and I feel out of the loop on projects A and B”), ask what’s going on, and talk through how you’d like things to work instead.

2. Tracking productivity. Managers sometimes feel uneasy about managing remote teams since they’re less likely to be able to physically see work being accomplished. That uneasiness can especially come to the fore with bigger, long-term projects, where the ability to see outcomes might be months away. The key here is to create clear goals with clear, measurable milestones along the way, so that you and your staff member can both see whether the work is on track or not and course-correct if you need to.

Of course, once you lay out these milestones, you need to check in on them regularly or they’ll do you no good. Rather than making that one more thing that you need to remember to do, put your team members in charge of scheduling those check-ins and ensuring that they actually happen.

3. Keeping everyone connected. When you talk to managers who have resisted letting people work remotely, collaboration is always at the top of the list of things they say they’re worried they’d need to sacrifice. If you’re a heavily collaborative team, the thinking goes, won’t you lose that if people aren’t sharing the same space? It’s a concern with far less teeth in recent years, as technological solutions have popped up to make collaborating from a distance much, much easier. (QuickBase is one!) But low-tech solutions have a role too, like making a point to check in with people personally (what’s going on with them outside of work, how was that family trip to the Maldives, how’s their softball league going, etc.), keeping an eye out for opportunities to make connections between people’s work (like suggesting that Jane and Leo connect about similar challenges they’re each facing with clients or that Leo talk to Karen about what she learned on a related project last year), and simply getting your whole team together on regular calls so that people have the chance to talk as a group.

I originally published this at Intuit Quickbase.

{ 58 comments… read them below }

  1. Koko*

    I don’t even understand the last concern, about tracking productivity. My report sits 10 feet from me and I would have no earthly clue if she was being productive if we didn’t have weekly check-ins where she tells me what she’s working on. I don’t look over her shoulder. Even if she was having productivity issues, I wouldn’t look over her shoulder to watch what she’s doing because that would be a waste of my time. I have my own job to do.

    I feel like if you think that you can only track productivity in the office, you’re either 1) standing over your employee’s shoulder watching everything they do and thus not doing your own job, or 2) conflating “presence” with “productivity.”

    1. Anonymous Educator*

      My report sits 10 feet from me and I would have no earthly clue if she was being productive if we didn’t have weekly check-ins where she tells me what she’s working on.


    2. Vicki*

      or 2) conflating “presence” with “productivity.”

      ^^ this.
      There are many managers who count “butts in chairs” (or cars in parking lots).

  2. MissMaple*

    I work in the office with one telework day while most of my coworkers are full time or nearly full time teleworkers. I run into problems because I am naturally quiet and tend to only speak up in meetings when I really have something to say. My more verbose and louder coworkers basically run roughshod over me in telecons. My manager has actually decided that I will be taking assertiveness training to overcome this. Do other introverts/soft-spoken people have this issue with telecons?

    1. TeacherNerd*

      I used to, but then I became real comfortable saying in a slightly louder tone, “Excuse me, I wasn’t done yet,” waiting a beat, then continuing with what I was saying. Repeat as necessary. If it’s the same person or two doing this, I have enough confidence to pull them aside (or send them an e-mail, if this is coming from a geographic distance) to say, “Hey, you might not realize that you’re doing this, but you consistently talk over me. I know I’m quiet, but please wait until I’m done.”

      Some folks are bulldozers, some are rude, and some just don’t have social skills. (My husband is wont to say – and I’ve come to agree with him – that one should never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity or relative lack of awareness.)

      I don’t have kids, but I AM a high school teacher, but I learned to get The Tone real quick even before teaching.

    2. Anon 12*

      Yes, it’s not even so much that I’m super introverted but I like to think before I speak. Without the body language for people to see that I’m processing the conversation often moves so quickly that it seems like a non sequitur to insert my thoughts a few minutes later. I’ve started telling people that I like to process and saying – hey after chewing on it I want to go back to point x…. I agree it’s a lot harder in telecons.

      1. TeacherNerd*

        Yes, this, too. Even for those who can read people well, it can be difficult to read body language over a teleconference. Some folks also just don’t realize they do this. (I had a professor in grad school who used to talk over everyone, and it was really frustrating, but I suspect someone tipped him off about this; he apologized for interrupting and talking over us, saying that when he grew up, that’s what his family did otherwise no one would get a word in edgewise. He got a lot better after that.)

    3. Koko*

      Is it possible for you to get your team to switch to a v-con provider? Bluejeans is very affordable at $10/month and all you need to join a video conference is an internet-enabled laptop, phone, or tablet with a camera. They also provide a dial-in line if you don’t have a microphone or prefer the audio quality of a phone.

      I have to join a lot of meetings remotely and the difference between joining by phone and joining by video is night and day. Yeah, it means I have to be dressed presentably, but I can actually see faces and body language so I can tell how something is being received (“are they all nodding thoughtfully or are they all horrified by my idea?”) and it’s easier to spot and seize an opportunity to jump into a conversation, and my coworkers can see me talking and are way less likely to interrupt me because they can tell from my face and body language whether I’m done talking or not.

      1. MissMaple*

        I like that idea, but I work in government, so my team is mix of gov. employees and contractors. Getting any technology approved is a nightmare. I’ll definitely keep it in mind in the future though. I didn’t realize how much I relied on the non-verbal communication to indicate that I was thinking through something until I was in an environment entirely devoid of it. And thanks TeacherNerd for the suggestions!

    4. Vicki*


      Also, find out if you can change to video conferencing, not just voice. Some people (like me) understand better f we can see the person wh is talking AND many video conferencing applications show the face of the person who is currently talking. So if someone else starts to talk, the picture keeps flipping. People stop interrupting fairly quickly when that happens.

  3. SittingDuck*

    Communication is my boss’s biggest issue – I just gave him a proposal to allow me to work from home starting next spring, as I’m having a baby then.

    He basically decided that one huge part of my job can’t be done from home because it requires communication within the office – which actually isn’t true at all. I don’t think he really knows what I do, but the one aspect he was talking about, I handle exclusively, and don’t need to consult with my teammates on it at all – since I’m the only one who handles that part of the company. He was so sure he was right though, I couldn’t argue my point at all….

    His solution is to hire someone part time to take over that part of my job, while I can do the rest of it part-time from home – unfortunately that one part of my job probably takes up 50% of my time – so working full time from home isn’t an option if he won’t let me do that one piece.

    1. Jerry Vandesic*

      I am always very careful when I get a WFH proposal from a new parent. Your boss might be coming at this from a similar place. Not sure what your boss was weighing for your role, but for me I need to see a bullet proof child care plan. My preference is for the employee to have a written contract with a child care provider to take care of the baby for all working hours. Informal arrangements (family members, ad hoc baby sitters) are questionable. I have seen these kinds of arrangements go off the rails too many times, so getting it right up front is important.

      1. cncx*

        I see where you are coming from, I have worked in places where in order to have a WFH contract there needed to be proof of an official childcare arrangement (family members did not count) and proof that the person had a room with a door that shut to be used as an office and not like a corner in the living room.

    2. ThePM*

      You didn’t ask, but I totally agree with Jerry. If you tied WFH to “new baby” – I’d think twice about allowing you to do this too, regardless of what it was. You do have childcare, correct? Unless your job is ultra flexible – like 1 hour here, 12 minutes there, weekend, etc., watching a baby and working….Lol. I work at home FT or travel and I have full time daycare. I can barely deal with the dog during the work day. Would love to avoid that expense though! :)

    3. Lia*

      I worked from home for years and both companies I worked for required that we have child care contracts for any kid under age 12 (either proof of school enrollment if old enough or school was in session, or daycare contracts if not).

      It is VERY hard to get any reliable work done with a newborn. Even if you luck out and have a pliable, easy baby like I did with my firstborn, they will get sick/outgrow naps/teethe etc., and you really do need the plan to get work done.

      1. SittingDuck*

        I work for a very small company, without formal policies on things like this – and yes my plan was to work from home with baby.

        I understand that most people may find this ridiculous, but having completed a rigorous grad school program when my now 5 yo was an infant (he was born with 3 months left of my program) I know a bit about what I am getting myself into. (and I will note I was a single Mom, so no Hubby to help out)

        I do not have a childcare plan – besides working odd hours when my husband is home, or the whole house is sleeping. My job is such that I can do a bit here, and a bit there, there is never really a long stretch where I need to be working, and the hours I do my work are not really important.

        My immediate supervisor is totally on board with my plan, btw.

        I realize my situation is quite different than most work situations, and I can see where most of you are coming from that working with a baby seems impossible, but I assure you its not.

        1. Jerry Vandesic*

          I wonder if your boss agreed with your assessment of the situation. The lack of a plan might have given him concern. Did he mention anything about childcare?

    4. Teapot project manager*

      Agree with others, I have worked for home for almost 16 years and I wondered about your comment about asking for wfh because you’ll be having a baby. I’d phrase it that it’s because you’d like a shorter commute so your baby will have less time in child care.

      As a matter of fact, that is what I did. I stared working from home when I came back from maternity leave. But I had child care along with backup child care. I said I’d like to work part time from home to avoid the 1 hour commute Trust me, you need child care lined up.

  4. Caroline*

    I recently petitioned, and was eventually granted, to have one telecommute day per week. The whole process made me feel like a suspected criminal.

    My work should lend itself to remote work easily–we all work independently. Our projects, while they are all similar, do not overlap at all. When we do have joint projects, one person is in charge of slicing up the work into equal pieces, which we all work on independently. We do meet every other week to discuss general work processes and exchange ideas on how to do things better or overcome a problem we are all having, but that is literally two hours per month. As for productivity, there is no wiggle room to be more or less productive than the work assigned. Not completing it is not an option, and if you complete it easily with room to spare, no other work will be assigned to you. (Which is why I’m hanging out on AAM today!)

    And yet, I find myself feeling like I’m suspected of being lazy or wanting to sit around watching TV all day by asking to work at home, since I don’t have “good reasons” like kids to care for. They did grant me the day, but I am explicitly on probation and need to do all sorts of extra check-ins and will have this aspect of my work evaluated separately. It feels like they don’t feel like they are getting their money’s worth unless they can see me to make sure I’m not overly enjoying myself. The same goes for days when I know I’ve finished my work, but still have two hours to go in the day so I have to sit there at my desk in case anyone “has a question” (no one ever has a question, especially an urgent question).

    I guess what I’m saying is that when there is such push-back about working at home and stringency about hours spent butt-in-seat, it feels like my employer values control over me more than the actual quality of my work (which they’ve never had a problem with). It’s a frustrating dynamic.

    1. Isabel C.*

      Ooof, yeah. And it’s a dynamic that’s a giant red flag for me.

      I turned down a job with a fairly nice paycheck because their employee handbook was super-strict about office hours even for non-exempt employees and they were totally unwilling to consider regular WFH, even once every two weeks after a year of employment. They said it didn’t work with the culture. I figured that culture wouldn’t work for me, and I wasn’t desperate enough to put up with it.

      (A month later, I accepted an offer for a different job, and it’s awesome so far.)

    2. James*

      Has your employer had trouble with teleworkers in the past? I’ve seen a few companies that tried to implement teleworking (usually poorly), gotten burned by it, then treated everyone as if they couldn’t handle it. It may not be personal, which is poor management but understandable policy-wise.

    3. TeacherNerd*

      I have come to the conclusion that maintaining control over employees is the biggest reason for managers denying WFH requests. I’m a high school teacher, so I can’t do my job remotely. (Yes, I know there are online classes, and virtual high schools, but at this point, most teaching still takes place in person, and I teach in person at a physical school.)

      My husband, however, worked at home for years, and he really loved it, especially because he had some persistent health problems that made it easier for him to be productive from home. He consistently got all his work done, but eventually took another job in the company – an airline based out of southwestern Utah, but which has a pretty sizable chunk (at least 50%, although I think more than that) who work in SLC. My husband’s entire department is 300 miles away, but his boss insists that my husband work at the office. I think it’s stubbornness, and an unwillingness to see things change. That there are those who take advantage certainly doesn’t help, but goodness.

    4. Nolan*

      I think it’s weird that they consider having kids at home a “good reason”, doesn’t that imply the employee would be splitting focus on both? My company is all remote and the folks with kids all have separate child care set up so that no one is parenting and working at the same time (aside from occasional snow or sick days, of course). One person with kids even rents a small office somewhere instead of having one in their home. If anything, I’d think not having kids to care for as the reason for your request would make it less suspicious in their eyes. I’m not sure they’ve thought that through…

      1. Blossom*

        With kids, it’s so you can take them to and from childcare without also having to factor in your own commute etc.

        Instead of:

        Wake up at dawn – get self packed and ready for office – get child ready to leave – take child to childcare – get self to office (let’s hope childcare was between your house and the office) – WORK – leave work – travel to childcare – retrieve child – take child and self home – rushed dinner – sleep.

      2. Caroline*

        You make a good point, but many people have been approved for WFM so that they don’t have to pay for childcare–even those with infants!

        But if they can get their work done and care for an infant at the same time, more power to them I guess.

          1. Caroline*

            That’s interesting–I didn’t know that. Here in my office, it seems to be the one thing that they accept without question.

            Whereas my “I’d like to reduce the burden of my extremely long commute” was very much side-eyed, or so it felt. I was told I had to come up with some more reasons.

          2. DoDah*

            My boss has an 8 YO and a 10 YO. For holidays, summers, school pick-ups and sick days—he has no other care for the kids.

            A colleague WFH every Friday so his daughter doesn’t have to go to daycare.

            1. Isabel C.*

              Not a parent, but I feel like that former scenario is probably better from the job/boss’s perspective. At 8 and 10, kids can understand “Dad’s working: do your thing quietly in another room,” and only really has to be around in case of emergencies. Kids under 4 would be more of a concern.

      3. Girasol*

        My employer seemed to confuse telecommuting with various forms of leave. If you’re home caring for a child or taking a sick day that’s the same as telecommuting: you’ll pick up email now and again, maybe catch a meeting and do an hour or two of critical work. Naturally they didn’t want to offer much of it since the expectations of a telecommuter’s day were so low. Responsible telecommuters were up against that misconception. Sick leave was especially awkward since some people would call in “telecommuting” and do an hour of work, while others called in “sick” and would have to pony up a day of PTO, but still be expected to log in part time and fend off major crises. Some clarification of expectations for different situations would have helped both the employees and the company.

        1. Koko*

          For us, “sick, so telecommuting” means “I’m mostly OK but I’m contagious and gross sounds and fluids are coming out of me” and you are generally expected to be fully available.

          If you take the sick PTO, it makes you actually feel crummy or you’re under heavy medication and you are totally out of pocket, unreachable til you return.

          There are a few rare situations where someone is sick enough to want to take the sick PTO, but there is something really critical that day that needs their attention and no one else can do. In those cases the person is generally permitted to only attend to those items but not have to take any PTO. That’s intended to be a compassionate accommodation for people who are very sick and in critical functions, so they aren’t forced to choose between working the entire day while feeling that way or spending PTO and still having to work, but it’s not something that is culturally expected to be used with regular frequency.

          1. Isabel C.*

            Also this. “Sick”=”not answering email or phone, just don’t go there,” “sick WFH”=”nobody wants me in the office, but I’m functional.”

    5. ThatGirl*

      My company instituted a formal WFH policy for my department a bit over 2 years ago – before that it was occasional on request/for bad weather days. It was because we had a few talented employees with very long commutes – and we also had a new department head willing to implement change.

      It’s been great, really. I can schedule appointments and things like plumbers or pest control without needing to figure out a whole day of logistics. I am so grateful that we’re trusted to be working — and we have a number of metrics by which to measure productivity, so you wouldn’t be able to get away with slacking for too long.

    6. Gaia*

      Eh, I mean, I trust my remote employee but he was initially on a “trial” as well. It was really more about “does this work as well as it seems it will or is there some unforeseen barrier” than “I don’t trust you.”

  5. Chat Noir*

    I’m lucky my company has a very liberal WFH policy. My manager is in a state two time zones away and the people I work with on a daily basis are in India or scattered across the country. My manager even said that she doesn’t care where I work as long as my work gets done.

    My line of work (software development) is one that can be done from anywhere. My husband is an HVAC tech for large company so he has to physically be at work.

    As far as communication, I have a bi-weekly meeting with my boss. There’s a daily status meeting with the developers and testers for my projects. Email and IMs are the main form communication between employees.

    Starting next year, I may be working remotely full time. The lease expires on the building and I could move to an office in a different location. I actually don’t mind going into the office, so I’m wondering how I will adjust to full time remote work.

  6. Clytemnestra Stein*

    The culture against WFH/remotely is SO weird. At my current job, I am 100% not allowed to work from home or remotely, even though a ton of my work is all computer related. I’m moving out of state soon, and they’ve gone through the whole “please don’t leave us!” thing, plus I’ve suggested ways I can stay on but do my work remotely. No go.

    The weird part about it is – my office (a small office) 100% doesn’t care if you’re on Facebook, watching youtube videos, etc. during the day as long as your work gets done (sometimes even if you don’t, but that’s…an issue with another employee). There’s literally no way I could be less productive working remotely than I could already be at the office. It’s…bizarre.

    1. Girasol*

      Is it possible that a company culture that lacks good management in the office is especially spooked about workers they can’t see?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author


        The thing about managing remote people well is that it’s really just about doing the normal management stuff really well. It’s just more important when people are remote.

        1. Is it Friday Yet?*

          What really aggravated me at one of my previous jobs is that I had a manager who managed me remotely, but she was very against working from home. You already can’t see me. What difference does it make to you if I am in the office or at my house?!

          1. Gaia*

            That’s weird. Next year, I will be moving states and I will manage my in-office team remotely + 1 remote employee. I’ll be posting more tomorrow but I can’t imagine being opposed to WFH when I want to WFH unless there was something about the job that specifically couldn’t be done remotely.

            1. Shortie*

              Or about the person. I am now a remote manager and am fully supportive of WFH (also having plenty of employees who WFH in addition to myself), but one of my employees wants to WFH, and he totally cannot. He is productive when he’s in the central office, but doesn’t accomplish anything when he WFH.

      2. Clytemnestra Stein*

        Oh, for sure. The frustrating thing is, since I’ve “grown with the company” (as in, I was with them close to when they started, getting 5 calls a day, to now, when they have grown much, much bigger) I’ve brought up lots of issues with my bosses about management, inefficiencies, bad protocol, communication problems that I’ve seen/encountered during this whole time. Always respectfully, and always for the good of the business. And they’ll 100% agree with me…and then do nothing to change. And then ask me for suggestions on how to change…and then do nothing to change. I don’t know, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when I leave…but I think logically what will happen is that they will just reverse growth and go back to being a very, very small business that they feel like they can “handle” (like 4 people).

  7. Xarcady*

    Ugh. My last boss, who was the owner of the company, was so against WFH. Although she did let one employee WFH when said employee moved out of state. But only that one employee.

    And there was nothing about most of our jobs that couldn’t be done from home.

    The state had a special office just for telecommuting, as they were trying to get cars off the over-crowded highways. I contacted them and got lots of info.

    The things that worked with my boss to eventually get her to agree to WFH:

    1. Both manager and employee signed a WFH contract.
    2. Employees with children had to show proof of child care during work hours.
    3. No one worked completely from home. The norm was one day a week, until Boss saw productivity increase, when people were allowed to WFT two days a week.
    4. Managers had to agree to tell Boss immediately if any work was not done on time. It was a production sort of business, with a lot of tight deadlines, and penalties to pay the client if things were late, so there was a reason for this.

    And when we had a winter with a couple of huge blizzards that shut down roads for a day or more, Boss learned that letting people take their laptops home meant that they could work during the blizzard, and we could meet our deadlines. But it took about 2 years for her to get to that place.

  8. Tax anon*

    I love my company’s teleworking policy. I can work from home on an as-needed basis for anything from waiting for the cable guy to a midday doctor’s appointment, as long as I let whichever team I’m currently working with know. There’s also a formal telework structure where employees can request a regular WFH schedule.

    I try to get in at least a couple WFH days a month. It lowers my stress level from not having to deal with traffic and dress pants, and there’s something very refreshing about getting a break from the cubicle.

  9. LawCat*

    When I was in DC, working from home was normal and most people did it a couple days per week. I didn’t have a good work space at home so I only did it on an ad hoc basis. People called in to teleconferences. It seemed to work well for everyone involved.

    When I moved to my current state and went to work for my last employer, telework was an extremely divisive issue there. So divisive that I just backed away from any discussions about it because I had no interest in teleworking. People on my first team there were refused permission to telework “because of the nature of the work.” The management could never quite pin down what that was though. This was a team where people were regularly on the road so were used to working away from the office. Those managers liked butts in seats (literal seat checks would occur) so their own insecurity was the real reason. When I moved to another team, almost everyone on that team teleworked once per week. I think I was the only one who didn’t. It was a high functioning team with little turnover.

    When I was interviewing for another position earlier this year, the hiring manager said he didn’t allow any telework (or flexible schedules). I backed out because stuff like that has become a red flag for me on a manager’s abilities to manage, not because I personally care about telework.

    At my current job, I don’t work from home, but I work remotely from the main office (I am the only person on my team at my location). So far, it works really well.

  10. Katy*

    My company’s business is to facilitate remote work, and we have our own one day a week where everyone is expected to work remotely (drinking our own champagne if you will). As many other folks have said, it’s all about communication. We IM and email each other regularly, and our project management tool gives stakeholders and managers visibility into what people are doing throughout the day. Face time is valued, too – our mantra is, “If it can be an email and not a meeting, make it an email.” The idea being when you do get people in a room together (even if people are dialing in), you need everyone to discuss something at the same time, not as a convenience. It works really well for us, and just yikes! on some of these stories you all have to share. Yikes and wow.

  11. Geneva*

    I think a lot of managers have control issues. If they can’t see you, they can’t dictate how you behave and that makes them anxious. There’s also the assumption that employees are not to be trusted and want to “scam the system” so to speak. So they treat them like children and force them to sit in a cube all day, when they might be more productive (and safer in the case of bad weather) at home. I know I get way more done when I can roll out of bed and get to work and skip the 1.5 hour commute.

  12. Searching*

    Until recently, I worked for a company with a well-developed work-from-home policy. I had worked at home full-time for more than 10 years. They set me up with all the computer equipment, internet, phone line, even furniture if I wanted (I opted for the file cabinets only, the rest was too ugly!), VPN, the works. As time went on, the technology got better and better. The last year or so, they even switched to a VOIP phone system that used the exact same phones as in their offices, and a special kind of modem that replaced the VPN connection and thus never timed out. It was a great set-up. Yes, we had to sign a contract and all that (it was made very clear we WFH was not a replacement for child care). Our team was a mix of WFH and in-office workers all over the country, depending on whether they were located close to an office or not.

    1. Searching*

      Whoops, hit “submit” too soon. My managers (I had 3 different ones over that time period) had varying levels of success in managing successfully, but I don’t think that was due to the WFH arrangement, given the geographic distribution of the team. Some were just better managers, period. Better communicators, better delegators, better at assigning projects, and better at monitoring results.

  13. Gaia*

    My first employee began working remotely full time earlier this year. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Not only did we get to retain a great employee, but he is even more productive now that he works from home as he isn’t distracted by his coworkers. If you have hard working, quality employees and the job can be done without requiring them to be in the office then there is no reason to require them to be there.

  14. JC Denton*

    My old company was burned repeatedly by people on WFH arrangements and my new one is coming very close to banning them for similar reasons. I feel like if a WFH schedule is more than a day or two a week, it rapidly lends itself to abuse. The hardest part in my last workgroup was the two remote workers in our section not producing any output and being on an 8×5 WFH schedule. A new boss came in, quickly saw the lack of output, and forced them to return to the office. They complained to HR and were restored to WFH where their output quantity has not changed. Now the bureaucratic engine is drafting a “policy” around WFH explicitly banning the practice because of two slackers.

    1. LD*

      The manager should try to manage the two slackers out because of their productivity, not because they work from home.

  15. crazy8s*

    The WFH comments are heavily skewed from those who want to work from home. I would be interested in hearing more perspective from managers about their experience with WFH arrangements.

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