By Jeff Haden, Inc. columnist, small business management expert and Gusto blog contributor
In the early days of Microsoft, Bill Gates devoted a portion of his formidable intellect to memorizing employee license plates. As Gates recalls, “I knew everyone’s license plates so I could look out in the parking lot and see when did people come in (and) when they were leaving.”
In time, Gates recognized that he needed to be “a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard (others) worked.” (Or better yet, to stop using presence as a proxy for productivity.)
But still: for a while, he knew who was working late, and who was not. So, had Gates been leading a hybrid team, one with some employees on-site and others doing their jobs remotely, those working in the office could have enjoyed a perception leg up on their work-from-home counterparts. If my car is in the parking lot every night until 10 p.m., by all appearances I’m extremely dedicated and hard-working—regardless of whether I accomplish more than any of my remote peers.
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