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Slightly odd

Working from home leaves four of five bosses worried their staff are not being productive

You can measure their output. If you can’t measure output then of course the people are doing little useful. So one way of looking at this is that if you can’t even measure their output then they’re not being productive and you should fire them anyway. That is, it’s not what is the measure of their output, it’s whether it can be measured that matters.

19 thoughts on “Slightly odd”

  1. They should be worried… Nothing worse for a manager than actual metrics proving Office Bloat….
    Including their own job….

    And Working From Home does tend to cut out all the bullshit if done right…

  2. Quite. Forced working from home has indeed demonstrated that vast swathes of the UK workforce are totally unproductive and add no value to their businesses… ie the managers who have no idea what their staff are doing, so measure their contribution based on how long they’re in the office. We should get rid of most of them and let their staff just get on with it.

  3. If you can’t measure output then of course the people are doing little useful

    There are some tasks where measurement is only possible in gross terms. Software development is one of those. Finding a small obscure bug in a piece of code can sometimes take a long time as in hours, days or even weeks. There is no way of knowing in advance how long it will take. The crude metric of counting the lines of code is useless. Fixing the code might well involve removing code.

    That said, people working at home often seem to believe they are being very productive with nothing to back up that claim. The true metric should be based on what else they have “achieved” while working e.g. mowing the lawn, walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, watching daytime TV, masturbating, going to the shops etc.

  4. Agree with AndyF.
    JuliaM – I get far more work done at home. Because I’m not constantly interrupted by colleagues ‘just stopping by’ ….
    Of course you do. It’s what all the WFH’ers come out with.
    It’d probably work where there is some defined task that can be defined as completed in a defined time. Like the work of all those workers do who kept the country going through Covid lockdowns by not WF-fucking-H. But desk jockies? Too much of their work is whatever they say it is.
    And who exactly is getting the benefit of this new WFH efficiency? Anyone found it improved, interfacing with organisations implemented WFH? Got your passport yet? Your bank more efficient & helpful?

  5. Based on a lot of experience in Universities, I would sy that some of the staff not delivering lectures probably benefitted the students a lot …

  6. Working from home has been a kick in the arse at my place. There was stultifying bureaucracy and massive paper chains before the pandemic. Lockdowns rendered all that unworkable so online methods had to be developed. Once we got one or two done their effectiveness was seen and the bigwigs now want more of it.

    COVID has caused a Damascene conversion that would otherwise have probably taken another 5 years.

  7. Ah, WFH.

    Firm costs (leccy, heating, rent) are shifted to and distributed between those employees WFH for some consistent number of hours.

    Firm costs go down, so for the same output, productivity improves.

    But why shouldn’t the employee be able to claim part of the mortgage/rent, leccy, broadband and all the rest, back from the firm?

    What happens to domestic insurance rates and council tax, once some large-ish proportion of employees are consistently doing the hours at home?

  8. Four out of five bosses are useless. I have extensive experience pre-Covid of managing staff who had the option of working from home. None of them ever wanted to do it for any length of time, but it was incredibly valuable and useful to them whenever it was needed e.g. sick child, plumber arriving, parcel being delivered or whatever. It was also used for those in-between days of not being sick enough to take the day off, but still feeling a bit shitty.

    You either trust your staff to get on with work or don’t, location isn’t that important.

  9. “But why shouldn’t the employee be able to claim part of the mortgage/rent, leccy, broadband and all the rest, back from the firm?”

    You claim it back from the taxman. Page E1 box 20.

  10. And who exactly is getting the benefit of this new WFH efficiency? Anyone found it improved . . .

    I haven’t paid any council tax for the last 20 months, so there’s that.

  11. I’ve been working from home whenever possible for over 20 years. If I don’t deliver the results, my contracts don’t get renewed. Given that my contracts are always renewed at least once, I can confidently say my productivity (at the very least) meets expectations while WFH.

    Julia is correct, in an office there is a steady stream of interruption: people asking questions or just walking past the desk; or background chatter; or pointless meetings; or commutes taking three times as long as they should because some fuckwit in an Audi blocked the motorway.

    Mr in Spain is also correct for jobs that involve dealing with customers. Luckily I never have to.

  12. Friend of my wife’s reckons WFH has done wonders for her sex life, her and hubby both at home all day and kids back in school, usually time to take a break together

  13. @ bis (and Julia M)
    My wife used to say that she got a lot more work done on the occasional day when she was working from home because she wasn’t being continually interrupted by subordinates coming round to ask whether they should do X or Y instead of thinking it out for themselves. Also (because she thought I might be sceptical) she did actually do an analysis which demonstrated that she was right.
    For a lot of time I was more productive when working from home despite the interruption level being greater at home than in my firm’s office because I worked longer hours thanks to not spending 2-3 hours a day commuting. The big exception was when I was in Bratislava and when the office closed I walked back to the hotel, did another hour’s work, had dinner and then did another 2-3 hours’ work.

  14. “For a lot of time I was more productive…because I worked longer hours”

    So not more productive at all then.

    Good grief, John77, come on.

  15. Actually, factoring in John’s commuting time means that he is more productive because he is spending time working when he would have been travelling.

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