How rigid should companies be with employees' use of time?

StillADotcommer

At my office, we have two people with management oversight, and they have very different approaches. One is pretty easy-going, assigns tasks and expects them done on time. The other, and I am not exaggerating, has screamed "Shut up!" at the top of her lungs when she felt people were talking too much, has thrown things across the office, kicked a trash can across the office, and docked multiple employees' pay without telling them for checking Facebook (including the person in charge of social media). We are not talking about a factory, assembly line environment here, we are talking about people who code, writers, visual artists, basically a range of creative class individuals. I have my own feelings about which approach is more effective, but I wonder what other people think is the best approach. How much latitude should employees be allowed in how they use their time at work?

Topic: Business
Answer this Question

Answers

2 total
rtrembley
Vote Up (15)

I think the first question that should be asked is whether work is getting done appropriately. Are people meeting their deadlines? Is their work product of good quality? If the answer is no, then you have to address it, establish performance expectations, and hold people to them. If the answers are yes, then yelling at people, acting like a bully and stealing from them (and that is what it is when they aren't paid for their time) is the worst possible way to manage a business. THE WORST. This is especially true with jobs that require creative thought like the ones you mentioned. The danger from the company's perspective is that when you treat people poorly, you are going to build resentment and it is going to come back and bite you when you need people to go beyond a minimum effort.

It's like the movie Office Space, when the Bobs are talking to Peter Gibbons, he tells them that, "...my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."

jimlynch
Vote Up (14)

It depends on the employee. Some folks respond well to the laid back approach, they are responsible people and don't require a heavy hand. Other people are lazy or otherwise unreliable. They require a firmer hand and more oversight.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Thanks to the cloud, the “as a service” trend is getting a little out of control
Technology companies make up almost half of the businesses ranked highest by their employees for culture and values in a new survey
For weeks we've heard rumors that Google would be acquiring Twitch. What a surprise when Amazon turned out to be the buyer. Are you ready for a "Buy now" button on your livestream?
You can get browser extensions to stop advertisers from tracking you, but until now there hasn't been one that can prevent you from getting suckered by hucksters on news sites.
Ryan Carmack, the 9 year-old son of the famed programmer and game designer, has released Pong-clone called Angry Face
Technology is changing the way every department, from marketing to human resources to finance, is achieving its goals.
Also, how Tweet-shaming saved me from cutting the cord
A new study reveals that Java developers make the most while JavaScript programmers are the most wanted
CIOs and venture capitalists can often educate each other on how to evaluate tech trends to successfully construct deals.
Mark Zuckerberg’s latest app takes onerous Terms of Service to a strange new level
randomness