Telecommuting and Offshoring

“I have no intention to micro manage that situation from here.”

I overheard a colleague say this over the phone. They have a sourcing operation in India (which we helped establish) and one of his colleagues was struggling to manage the staff. It occurred to me that it doesn’t matter if your employees are abroad or just working from home. Time zones notwithstanding, learning to work with people in a virtual world is a growth area. As it should be.

The assumption that people are more productive at work is true for some, but not so for others. There are  “social” aspects of an office that waste lots of time: fantasy leagues, meetings, and office gossip. Not to mention commuting and busy work. Everyone is good at looking busy, if not productive. Managers also buy into the notion that managing staff is a full time job. Sometimes it is. But in many cases you just have to let people work. Especially when process is less important than results. At the very least, when you’re relying on someone out of your sight, you get better at clarifying expectations and deliverables.

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