Following on from my last post, the same Silicon.com article quotes a Citrix study which reveals strong support for the idea that flexible working will deliver greater productivity and a more motivated workforce, though it admits opposition to remote working often relates to the perceived death of ‘the office culture’ and the breakdown of teamwork rather than concerns over security. "Other respondents were more worried about a lack of motivation if they weren’t under the watchful eye of their bosses."
Having worked from home for much of the past eight years, I have never needed a boss keeping an eye on me to keep me motivated (deadlines are often motivation enough). Regular trips into the office to hot-desk, or arranging off-site meetings with colleagues at mutually convenient locations and times, help keep me in touch with ‘the office’ and other members of my team, as do a steady stream of telephone chats, emailed jokes, etc.
Maybe the ‘watchful eye’ comment reflects bosses‘ insecurities? Perhaps they like to think their staff can’t be trusted to work unless they are keeping en eye on them?
Again, perhaps our modern extranet technologies can help in this respect too. While I hope there are few ‘Big Brothers’ out there, I know that managers can use the reporting tools embedded in many collaboration applications to monitor their employees’ work. But let’s not get precious about staff working nine-to-five (some of my most productive and/or creative periods are late-night sessions in front of the computer). Unless an individual’s homeworking requires them to be in constant telephone, web or email contact, why not trust them to work at a time that best suits them so long as the work is undertaken to the required quality and by the specified deadline?