Managing employees at home bothering you? Try leading them.

Will working from home suit you? Here's how to check - The ...

People are working from home and it has brought about some of what, to me anyway, are some of the most annoying posts and articles relating to how businesses should deal with it.

I understand some of the technical challenges. How do you hold meetings? How do you communicate effectively? Those are things that, while relatively simple to figure out given the multitude of communication platforms available today, need to be hashed out. I understand the advice being thrown around about managing those things. The stuff I don’t get is all of the command-and-control advice on how to ensure employees are doing their jobs. For example, I saw an article that said managers should set down rules like these:

  • Employees should let managers know when they take any breaks.
  • Employees should share calendars to ensure mangers know when employees available and where they are at all times.
  • Employees should answer all calls and do no screening.
  • Laptop or computer cameras should stay on throughout the workday so managers can see employees.

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. Really? I mean these kind of rules are infantile. Should employees raise their hand and request a hall pass to go pee too?

Here’s my thinking on the whole work from home thing. How about trying a leadership approach instead of a management approach? How about treating your employees like adults instead of elementary school kids? How about this as a work-from-home rule?

During this work-from-home time, I trust you as a valued employee to get your job done in the way you need to get it done. I know it’s not perfect but we trust you and want you to give your best. As your manager, I want you to know I am here if you need help.

To all of you managers who are shaking your heads thinking, How can I be sure they’re not goofing off? All I can say is this, if you hired people you can’t trust or who cannot do their jobs without your micromanagement, you’re the one that your organization needs to worry about.

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