Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teleworking

Oh boy, where do I start with this topic…  It appears that teleworking is governed by the same old wrinkled assholes that control the Oscars Voting Club.  In other words, they are managers that are against change, higher productivity, and the mental wellbeing of people that actual do the work.  If a company provides the teleworking infrastructure, then they should allow employees or contractors to telework as much as possible.  Especially, in high traffic cities that only increase the stress of commuters.  To name a few, Atlanta, Detroit, and Miami are well known to be pure hell for commuters.

Just so we’re clear.  Teleworking depends on the context of your job.  If your job doesn’t require a computer and all you needs is a phone, then a phone is your only requirement for teleworking.  If your job requires you to build products using a computer with private access to network resources, then that’s your requirement.  The latter is true for most IT projects.  Software engineers, whether building web, mobile, desktop, or service applications, use expensive and specialized software to provide needed value to the company.  The security model of these companies is typically setup so that work can only be produced by using internal machines.  That logically makes a lot of sense.  For a person to truly telework in this environment, they need the ability to remote into these internal machines.  Companies like Citrix make this extremely easy.

With that out of the way, let's get on these stupid IT managers that are so resistant to an obviously good thing.  Find any manager that is against teleworking.  Have them explain why they are against it.  They sound like complete babbling idiots because they can’t give you any logical answer to why they are against it.  Now, does that make any damn sense?  No, it doesn’t.  The reason it doesn’t make sense is because they are not telling the truth.  The truth is they DO NOT trust you.  Why?  They’re stupid IT managers that are insecure in their leadership ability.  A quality leader trusts their team.  A stupid one wants to believe they can control them, yet that control is only an illusion.  In their hearts they know this, yet fight to deny it.  To be honest, they were most likely poorly raised as children and didn’t receive enough love.

Managers need to burn this next statement into their brain with a blowtorch.  Companies pay for performance, NOT for office butts-in-seats (BINS).  I dare you to argue that stress free workers do not perform better than stressed workers.  I dare you.  Do you honestly think an employee that spends an hour in traffic coming to work is excited to be there?  They come in stressed and leave stressed because it’s an hour of stop-and-go traffic back home.  That’s 2 extra hours they could spend teleworking.  If you have 5 people on a project and they all roughly spend 2 hours in traffic a day, that’s potentially 10 extra hours that could have been used towards a project.  Teleworking isn’t the enemy; it is a gift of tremendous value.

Why companies spend money to setup a teleworking infrastructure if they are barely going to use it is beyond me.  That is a total waste of IT investment that could have been better served elsewhere.  Some companies only allow employees or contractors to telework 1 day a week.  Wow, that’s total bullshit.  What a great way to slap your workers in the face.  You’re basically telling them that you only trust them to telework 1 day a week and the other days, well, you know.  If you’re one of these managers that believe it’s the employees fault for taking the job, how dare you?  You may have been fortunate enough to find a job close home, but you certainly have no right to judge.  People have their reasons.  Being able to work close to home is a luxury that not many have.

How to manage a teleworking software development team?  It’s so easy.  Are you ready?  Don’t be a douchebag.  Allow the team to telework 90% of the time.  The other 10% should only be for meetings where face-to-face is actually needed.  Trust that your team will produce quality work.  Track their performance like you normally do.  Ensure that they are willing to come into work for emergencies.  A good example would be cases where the teleworking infrastructure is down or extremely slow.  Don’t be a douche if they do not respond to your email within 5 minutes.  Simply call them if they are taking too long and don’t be a douche about it.  People are allowed to take breaks just as they do in the office.

Teleworking could allow employees to appreciate the company more.  Being managed by douchebags is a horrible feeling.  I have been there plenty of times, which is why I refuse to be a poor leader to my team.

Thanks for reading. Keep this blog relevant by leading IT managers and actual workers here for laughs, insight, and further debates. Continue to submit your management stories to stupid.it.managers[(at)]gmail.com.  Your identity will be kept private.

4 comments:

  1. Simply awesome. Great sardonic commentary. A true comic relief for all the workers of mentally ill corporations.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the cynical comedy. Do share.

      Thanks

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  2. Sounds like my former employer. We had VPN, Citrix, and some remote apps/portal but we could only use them if we had to do work after hours or on a weekend.

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    1. Wow... that is utterly ridiculous.

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