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Telework | Businesses need to trust their employees, say experts



(Vancouver) Bosses and remote workers must know how to walk a fine line to balance trust, surveillance and micromanagement, experts say.

Sandra Robinson, an occupational psychologist who teaches at the University of British Columbia, argues that employee satisfaction is one of the fundamental reasons why companies continue to embrace telecommuting.

However, she warns bosses against the temptation to employ surveillance tools, such as tracking software. This could erode the trust between the company and the employees.

Mme Robinson reminds us that one of the best ways to build trust is to trust. Research suggests that employees’ sense of responsibility is lost when they feel the company trusts them less.

The psychologist was reacting to a British Columbia court ruling ordering an accountant to reimburse her former employer after monitoring software discovered she was not always working while telecommuting.

Shafik Bhallo, an employment lawyer, doesn’t believe the ruling will prompt many companies to sue their employees.

He recalls that Canadian law remains at “a stage of development” when it comes time to settle disputes about telework.

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