June 23, 2023

There’s 2 types of remote work ‘slackers’

Authors:

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Those who get it done. And con artists.

There’s two types of remote work ‘slackers’: those who get it done. And con artists.

I didn’t think I’d be talking about remote work again anytime soon. But 2 dumb things on social media caught my eye this week.

1. Some guy on Twitter was yammering on about how remote work is less productive. Because remote workers work 3.5 less hours per day than in-office workers.

I can’t find Tweet, but no matter. It was referencing this Forbes articles. Which in turn referenced this study.

The narrative being, less hours worked = less productive.

The inherent flaw in this logic is that it doesn’t account for the true measure of productivity: output.

Plenty of studies on this (just Google ‘remote productivity’). Like this article, also from Forbes, talking about how remote workers are 47% more productive vs those working in The Distraction Factory.

If you hit your deliverables, does it matter how many hours it took you to do so? If you’re a results driven organization, not one bit.

The obvious pro-office counter is that if hours were maximized, an employee would be even more productive. It makes a leap in logic that by micromanaging hours in an office, that higher level of per minute productivity could be maintained over a full work day.

No matter how fast or slow you drive, you only have so much gas in the tank.

👉You work faster when you’re rewarded with doing something else that you really want to do. And you work slower when you’re stuck in a chair and not going anywhere, no matter what.

And this is a real day to day issue for recruiters. Discussing with some colleagues, we spoke with several candidates recently who chose not to pursue new opportunities that paid more money. Because they can get away with working ~20 hours a week at their current gig.

The key point being: these people all receive high marks in their reviews and hit their deliverables. They’re getting the job done.

On the other hand…

2. This viral TikTok. Which features a woman working 2 remote software engineering jobs. Collecting 2 salaries. But totally no-showing on 1 of them.

If you search the Internet, you’ll see a lot of similar stories of people double dipping on remote jobs with little oversight. Collecting multiple checks for little to no work.

👉Let’s make no mistake here: this is fraud.

You’ll notice the comments are mostly cheering her on. Which really speaks to the general disgruntled nature of American work life. That’s another rant for another day.

Point being: these 2 examples are NOT the same. But they both absolutely exist.

Which narrative you allow to shape your view of remote work (and which you choose to ignore) depends entirely on the pre-existing viewpoint.

Confirmation bias, as the kids call it.

Tldr: Work smarter not harder. Fraud is bad. Enjoy your weekend.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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