It’s Impossible to Explain – Managing Hybrid/Remote Work

May 6, 2023

It’s Impossible to Explain – Managing Hybrid/Remote Work

One of our family members is working remotely 100% of the time.  Her company fully supports this as a remote position BUT has written a number of policies to assure productivity and efficiency.  For example:

  • Two 15-minute breaks are granted per day at specific times as well as a 30-minute lunch break. She must log in and out.  The policy states that if an employee is “unresponsive”, they will be listed in the system as MIA with an associated code of TIME OFF NO PAY which, the company states, will impact overall performance.

  • Tech issues (caused by internet provider or a power outage) will be reviewed on a case by case basis. PTO or TIME OFF NO PAY may be applied for the duration of a tech issue if it is due to one of these circumstances beyond the employee’s control.  AND, the employee must show proof that the issues were caused by his/her internet provider or power company.
  • There’s also the old ineffective point system for absenteeism or tardiness that results in a written notice, final notice and termination. (Again, it’s impossible to explain why this system that promotes a game plan for chronic absentee-ers, would still exist.)

Here’s the worst thing.  The reason some people stay in these over-controlled jobs is that it is what they are used to!

When informed by senior leaders of another company that good people were leaving due to the strict return to work policy, the CEO said the company could find competent replacements.  He further stated, “ If you want to work from home and just kind of exist, and you have no growth opportunity—you don’t want to build your career and get to this next level and just want to be average—there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said. “That’s what a lot of people are.”

While there is no clear-cut solution to finding the perfect work schedule for everyone, creating elementary school policies and treating people as a commodity do not enhance the reputation of being an employer of choice.  With recruitment and retention as one of the biggest challenges in companies today, it’s impossible to explain why these situations continue to exist.

Note:  There are also a number of organizations that are using experimentation and feedback to learn what works best for both the company and its workforce.  Why aren’t all companies doing this???

Flexibility is key so don’t underestimate the value of looking for a win/win.  Check out our other blog posts – we’ve got plenty to say on this topic.