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“Remote helicopter boss” – Remote worker supervision syndrome

"Remote helicopter boss" - Remote worker supervision syndrome


Workers have become accustomed to the freedom that comes with working from home – they can get up later, work in their pajamas, and even from bed

Working from home, better known as remote work, is becoming more and more popular, and this has been facilitated by the pandemic. Workers have become accustomed to the freedom that comes with working from home – they can get up later, work in their pajamas, and even from bed.

However, this freedom is frustrating for supervisors who feel insecure and want to control their employees. This is how the term remote helicopter boss appears, i.e. a superior who supervises workers from a distance like a helicopter.

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Monitoring the work of employees

This constant monitoring is not good for employee productivity, creativity, and motivation. According to a Microsoft survey, 85 percent of managers find it difficult to determine whether employees are as productive when working from home. On the other hand, 87 percent of workers claim that they work well even when they are remote, while only 12 percent of employers have complete confidence in the productivity of their employees.

Experts claim that monitoring the work of employees is important, but within the framework necessary for assessment and clearly communicated to employees. It is necessary to explain why it is done, in what way, and how often. Supervision that goes beyond what is necessary will only reduce productivity and undermine employee confidence.

Communication is key

The discomfort that an employee may feel regarding remote supervision usually arises from situations where the agreed way of working is not implemented or if the employee does not perform their tasks as agreed, for whatever reason. In either case, it’s best to talk openly with the person causing the discomfort. It is recommended to use “I message” in communication and to avoid accusations because they can only make the situation worse.

Lack of trust

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, a fifth of telecommuters feel that their supervisors constantly evaluate their work, and one-third agree that their supervisors express a lack of confidence in their work abilities. However, such doubts about productivity can lead to the feeling that the boss is managing remote workers, which can lead to a decrease in engagement, motivation, and productivity.

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