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Feeling Productive While Working From Home? Many Managers Disagree

According a survey of global supervisors, 38% of bosses believe remote workers have worse performance than people in an office setting. Get ready for more scrutiny at home.

By Eric Griffith

Wondering whether your boss is happy with your performance over the last several months of slogging it out at home in quarantine? According to a survey of 1,200 from the Center for Transformative Work Design run in the Harvard Business Review and quantified for us in a chart from CurrentWare (above), when asked whether remote workers perform worse at home, 38% agreed or strongly agreed; 22% were unsure, leaving a slim majority of 40% to disagree or strongly disagree with the sentiment.

This flies in the face of what workers themselves think. About 84%, in the US at least, think they’re being “very productive” while working at home. That result came from a different survey of 3,000 people.

The HBR writeup discussed other factors in the managers’ mistrust. For example, more male managers dislike work-from-home and “mistrust their own employees’ competence,” at a rate of 36% compared with only 15% female managers that hold the same opinion. Younger managers (25%) also didn’t care for remote work, compared with 12% of “older” managers (if over age 30 can be considered “older”).

CurrentWare is covering this topic because it offers remote-employee internet management software; Gartner said in 2019 that up to 80% of companies would use some form of monitoring by this time. CurrentWare says it saw a 130% increase in queries between Q1 and Q2, just as COVID-19 hit. Without it, managers in some industries have to rely on employee self-monitoring. Which is exacerbated by employees not working the traditional work week, working in isolation, dealing with pandemic (and election) anxieties, and having to balance work and home more delicately.

Which all means that if you work at home, get ready for a lot more oversight in the future—not less.

Originally published at




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