5 thoughts on “If you manage by seat or face time, your employees will find a way to get around it

  1. 100%!
    I had a manager that would watch the “bubbles” in Teams (even when we worked in the office) and start asking around “where is so-and-so” when their bubble turned to “Away”. It didn’t take long for people to figure out how to keep those bubbles green and active, so they weren’t questioned if they went to the restroom or decided to take some time off in the middle of the day.

  2. You make it sound as though the employees who do this are devious. But what gets measured gets done. Good, well-meaning employees can find themselves behaving strangely (if they think about it at all) in a workplace where “good employee” means someone who is always present and looking busy. People may not even think about the weirdness of working hard all day and then, when the day is over, dawdling through a meticulous desk-tidying that’s finally good enough the moment the boss locks his door to go home. People eat at their desks and skip vacations not necessarily because the work requires it but often because they’ve been trained to think that doing so is the mark of good character. They’re not trying to game the system. The system is gaming them.

  3. I think the point being made here is to be engaged. Have a relationship and connection within the appropriate boundaries of the workplace, with people that you supervise. They know that you trust them to be doing what they are supposed to, and they know that you are there to support them to be successful. Not micromanaging, and not being absentee, but giving trust, but also verifying that your team members are trustworthy. Check in with them, let them know what you expect from them clearly, and ask what support they need from you to get there.

  4. I agree that what gets measured gets done. But make sure you are measuring something meaningful. Time online, or at the office does not mean organizational goals are being met. Measure progress, project completion, turnaround time, etc. Then seat-time/online time will take care of itself.

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