RE: Teleproductivity

Subject: RE: Teleproductivity
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 06:27:24 -0800 (PST)

--- Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com> wrote:
> In our organization, a few programmers have negotiated the right to
> telecommute. Based on measures of Lines Of Code per week, the productivity
> of these programmers has gone up. They are experienced programmers with
> computer power at home that is equal to or greater than the equipment in the
> office. They attend our issues meetings via speaker phone.
> I remember earlier discussions on this list which revealed that measures

> like Page Per Day for Tech Writers have gone up when they transitioned from
> office work to telecommuting.
> Does having such measures in place mean that management does not require
> face time to figure out who's working and who is not?
> Also, does management by objectives (whatever its current buzz-title) play
> into this discussion?

No doubt it is my own naivete that leads me to this train of thought, but it
seems to me that Jim is onto something here. I know people will argue about
using Lines of Code Per Day or Pages Per Day to measure productivity. I have my
reservations about those measurements myself as one can produce the requisite
lines or pages without producing anything useful.

But the idea of having clear objectives and clear milestones in a project would
seem to answer management concerns about productivity. Of course, doing that
would require additional work on the manager's part. Whether one is
telecommuting or not, the only way to monitor whether people are producing
toward the project's objectives is to have some agreed upon metrics and then
follow them. The manager needs to set these with the worker bee and then review
progress at the agreed upon intervals.

Frankly, I think that needs to be done whether someone is telecommuting or not.
But in all honesty it probably isn't happening in most places. I do think that
if you are establishing measureable, reviewable, objective criteria for
performance and success, a manager and the employee will know early if they're
meeting those criteria. If they're not, figure out what the factors are and
address them. If the factor turns out to be the employee's productivity, well
you know what to do. Either the employee's productivity must improve or the
employee needs to be replaced.

I think that those managers who automatically assume the problem is the
employee 'goofing off' might look at whether or not they have set expectations
and objectives for the employee and the project and then followed through on
monitoring the work toward those objectives. But that is harder than just
blaming all employees as lazy good for nothings who need to be watched all the

Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page -

Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
a year!

Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**WEST COAST LOCATIONS** San Jose (Mar 1-2), San Francisco (Apr 16-17) or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001
Conference East, June 4-5, Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. or toll-free 877/278-2131.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Tools: Word98 for Mac--copy-paste quirk resolved?
Next by Author: RE: Mixing Numberical and Alphabetical Outline Numbering in Word
Previous by Thread: RE: Teleproductivity
Next by Thread: RE: Teleproductivity

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads