By William Seidman I recently read an interesting article on telecommuting, which names the biggest issue as trust that people are actually working – or are they goofing off? I ran into this recently with a new company that wanted to partner with us. The company makes software that tracks the time that someone uses MS Word or Excel files in their systems. The main target? Telecommuters. The foundation of their system is that managers don’t trust that telecommuters will work as hard as people in the office. Putting aside the highly inflated perceptions about how much people work in an office (remember coffee machines and water coolers), the issue is trust. If people are motivated by a commitment to a social or moral good, as they are when they work with positive deviants, they will work very hard. When they create their own work schedule and track their own progress, they will work very hard. We coach people remotely – from Oregon to Israel and Malaysia – and the work always gets done. Our system creates and nurtures the trust that makes telecommuting not just fuel-efficient, but sensible and easy.]]>

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