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

May 31, 2023

Several times we’ve talked about how remote work is being monitored by software and over-controlled by policies. The stated outcome for doing this is the desire to assure people are being productive. But what are they measuring?

Activity for the most part. So, what’s bewildering about this?

First, it’s assumed that organizations are actively recruiting people they trust. (Or – are they?). If not, why wouldn’t they be? Peer interviews based on assessing personal attributes, like trust, have proven very successful in retention and building a more trusting work culture. Yet, interview processes often remain the same as they’ve always been. So, if there is a lack of trust for employees, we guess measuring activity gives some sense of “managing” the workforce.

Secondly, isn’t the result (vs. activity) the goal? Results are determined by setting high expectations and two-way, adult-to-adult communication regarding progress toward those goals. Substituting software data for a leader’s interaction that is challenging and inspiring can’t possibly produce the performance edge needed to be successful on an on-going basis. Is it laziness? A lack of training? An inexplicable low value for people? Or is it just the way we’ve always done it?

While explanations may exist for the lack of trust and over-focus on activity, the existence of these factors in a company that wants to be a high performing workplace is inexplicable.

Check out additional thoughts on trust in this podcast discussion with HR Work Break.