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(Axios)   Those middle managers who hate remote work because it revealed, well revealed to them and their bosses, they don't do anything? Yeah, they found something to do   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy, Vice President of the United States, Two-thirds of medium-to-large companies, State of play, Marc Warren, Productivity paranoia, screenshots of monitors, number of employers, lower-wage industries  
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1577 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Sep 2022 at 12:35 PM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

19 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-09-27 10:19:43 AM  
i0.wp.comView Full Size
2022-09-27 12:36:29 PM  
Ark B
2022-09-27 12:37:53 PM  
I don't love my "mouse jiggler" It does randomly move the cursor around, but there's no deliberate actions, and it's pretty obviously not human.
2022-09-27 12:46:55 PM  
The Microsoft reports around remote/hybrid work .... Surprisingly they are really good.

As some one that has been an individual contributor for the last decade and just recently moved back into leadership: it is disgusting how middle management has been operating and their current selfish protective actions.

I am looking forward to my peers being slapped in the face with the reality of results versus "productivity theater".
2022-09-27 1:07:49 PM  
As I've long said, if you have time to micromanage your employees, it means there's other aspects of your job that you just plain don't want to do and you're using your contempt for your employees as an excuse not to do them.

Micromanagement should be an immediate disqualifier that gets you removed from management.
2022-09-27 1:11:01 PM  
Once again, for the millionth time, middle managers have no power. They do not mandate the surveillance software. They don't push for returning to the office (unless instructed to). They, as stated, do nothing but poke for status updates and report those updates up the chain. They enjoy the comfort of doing nothing most of the day from their own homes just as much as their direct reports enjoy working from home.

Upper management are the overly paranoid ones with no object permanence.
2022-09-27 1:43:03 PM  
This was the thing I dreaded most about my last years on the job working from home during covid. I was actually as productive or more so than I had been at work; beating deadlines by days, doing more intricate editing and compositing, and getting great customer feedback, but yes, I was doing the work in my p.j.s, taking snack breaks, bathroom breaks, breaks to read news or Fark, whenever, etc., playing loud music during some of the time, and the dread I had was that the bosses would mandate some kind of home monitoring software leveraging the webcam, which would show my shiatty living conditions in the rec room of my home, and force me to clean up and dress for work, and screen monitoring, which would kill much of my screwing-around.

Honestly I think that would have made me quit work sooner, if they'd done that to us. Like I said, even though I wasn't working like I would at the office, I was actually better, faster, more productive, screwing around at home doing things my own way. Partly because though I screwed around some, I also was more engaged with my work while I was doing it, and making better efforts creatively because I felt a sense of agency and ownership. I didn't just work on that stuff from 8:30 to 5, if I got a new idea, or got customer feedback close to five, I'd come back to it after dinner or  whatever, off the clock, and I more than made up for the non-productive periods then. The point to me wasn't the hours, but the effort and results.  Monitoring would have killed off a lot of that.    When a boss gives you a job figuring it takes eight hours but you knock it out of the park in four, because you're better than she could ever imagine... what to do with the other 4 hours?  Sit there, waiting out the clock, doing training modules for apps you'll never get to apply to the work, because the boss can't figure out what else to make you do?  I knew that chapped HER ass; not being able to see me from moment to moment and ride me like a donkey. She assumed I slept -n half the day on company time curing covid WFH. I never did that; I was always at the computer by 8:30, in case she made a phone call. And never left the house until lunch hour, promptly back by noon. I had my own personal honor code about getting the work done and earning my money legitimately. It only *looked* like a sloppy bum going half-assed. But the work product spoke for itself.
2022-09-27 2:08:19 PM  
[before reading TFA]
Is it remote surveillance?

Yup, it's remote surveillance.

It's sickening how intent corporations are on stamping out any autonomy by workers. Because MSM forbid that workers have slightly more decision-making power over what they do in the course of a day or keep more of their paychecks because they're not dumping money into their gas tanks or the company cafeteria.

That's what middle management was invented to do: Control front-line workers and remind them how little control they have.
2022-09-27 2:11:11 PM  
but of course if al you are is a security watch DOG.
then a reduction in demanded job skills and so commensurate pay rate reduction is of course on the way then...
at least until we feel the Work Police Algorithm is good enough to replace yall.
2022-09-27 3:33:47 PM  
"It behooves companies to respect worker privacy as people shift quickly from personal to employment-related activities and back during the course of the day,"

That wasn't a management goal in the Before Times why would that change for the Now Times?  Taking away time for meetings that had no agenda that would suck two hours out of a day.  Tracking restroom visits.  Having your manager stop by your cube or other office to "Chat."  Doing the commute tango and arriving to the office already tired, lethargic, or just majorly pissed off.

Middle (and lower) management just want to pretend they're justifying their existence.
2022-09-27 4:00:45 PM  
As a manager, measure people by their work output, not their attendance.  (Unless availability is their job, like customer service, or tech support).  But bottom line?  If you don't trust the people you hire, then you shouldn't have hired them.

Remote work is not for everyone.  It's harder than people think, and takes more mental discipline than many people have.
2022-09-27 4:20:35 PM  
I just did the math: I'm as productive as four of my coworkers combined. I could take on the work of one of them with no real difference in the time I spend at work.

I honestly have no idea what they are doing that takes them four times longer to do their job than me. I would love to have that granular data as a manager to see how they are wasting their time so that I can improve their efficiency and work quality.
2022-09-27 5:24:12 PM  
I'm at work now, sitting on a couch in a common area scrolling fark. Like I do at while working from home. Boss is in Orlando anyway, I have missed most of his out of town visits this year. I shouldn't hear from him until at least Monday.
2022-09-27 6:00:46 PM  
I'd think more surveillance means more surface area and vectors of vulnerability, i.e. opportunity for cybercriminals. We can't expect managers to ever think about or understand that when their minds are elsewhere, though.

Bosses worry about whether working from home is as productive as being in the office.

While 87% of workers felt they worked as, or more, efficiently from home, 80% of managers disagreed.

The survey questioned more than 20,000 staff across 11 countries.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella told the BBC this tension needed to be resolved as workplaces were unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic work habits.

"We have to get past what we describe as 'productivity paranoia', because all of the data we have that shows that 80% plus of the individual people feel they're very productive - except their management thinks that they're not productive.

"That means there is a real disconnect in terms of the expectations and what they feel."
2022-09-27 6:05:06 PM  
A finance executive told the NYT that if she stepped away to use the bathroom, her computer would go idle and the time wouldn't be counted toward her hourly rate.

If you have an optical mouse, buy a cheap analog wristwatch with a second hand that ticks. Place the laser eye of the mouse in the center, over the second hand. The laser will measure constant movement and jiggle the cursor on the screen without having to install a software or hardware mouse jiggler (either of which your employer would probably find set up on the computer).
2022-09-27 6:09:06 PM  
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2022-09-28 12:25:32 AM  

A Cave Geek: As a manager, measure people by their work output, not their attendance.  (Unless availability is their job, like customer service, or tech support).  But bottom line?  If you don't trust the people you hire, then you shouldn't have hired them.

The problem comes in when you get a new manager that didn't hire you. Some places rotate management pretty frequently.
2022-09-28 12:29:49 AM  
Bosses need to go to ROM
Results Oriented Management

Most remote aren't manufacturing workers making widgets
They're skilled SALARIED professionals
The brain doesn't work that way in the abstract and creative context
It does NOT stop when you walk away
It may even get better. Figuring out problems and solutions or being creative.
And just like a machine, needs a break and downtime.

Sorry we're not slaves or indentured servants.
You pay for taxes breaks and more time just like the Mgrs and execs.

In the end, you're just going to lose good employees.
2022-09-28 7:25:27 AM  
Someday soon companies will figure out that 90% of a middle manager's role can be done just as effectively by software, basically for free. That last 10%? It will be on the employees from here on out
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