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Remote work during COVID19: A long Zoom call sprinkled with work breaks

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With this prolonged period of wfh many managers are left without the one thing that made them feel productive — the meeting room.

I bet many of them are suffering from seizures as I'm writing this article, knowing that tomorrow is Monday and all they have on their calendar is a couple of video calls.

Unfortunately, many have found a way to have their meeting room — they turned Zoom or whatever video conferencing software they're using into a virtual meeting room. And they're holding people hostages for hours over there, clarifying and directing and feeling important.

I recently made a post on LinkedIn about the futility and danger of bringing bad habits from the office life into the "remote world"

If you also read through the comments, you will find one that sticks out like a sore tooth. The main thesis of that comment is that whenever something is not working, you need to call for a meeting.

Get over this shit, please!

Last week alone, I've had three different owners / managers/ higher-ups tell me something along the lines of:

— What colalboration tools do you recommend?

Me: Zoom, Basecamp, Clubhouse, Google Docs, Zoho Mail (cheap and good service), Slack, Dropbox.

— Yeah, but I mean, to make sure people are working. Monitoring and stuff like that.

Me: RescueTime to figure out when people are working and what's their pace, Toggl, if you need timesheets.

— No, I want to make sure they're at their computer and not on the couch or goofing around on Facebook.

Me: ... I don't think you need such tools.

— Maybe in IT it's different, but in our industry people really slack off!

Me: ...

— Do you know any apps that turn on the camera at random times and take pictures and screenshots?

Yeah, I do know such apps. They're called RATs and they're installed by hackers and sick people on victim computers to watch them without their consent and make use of their computing power.

It's immoral, illegal and you can — AND SHOULD — go to jail for that!

Turning working from home, which is in and of itself a productivity-enhancing way of working for many people, into a surveillance-based way of working is dumb, dangerous, offensive and totally counter-productive.

If you can't trust your employees to work from their homes, how can you trust them to answer customer support calls? How can you trust them to handle your clients, to help them, to serve them?

You're missing the whole point of remote work!

Reconsider.

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