During my days as a consultant, my team once submitted a document with 1000+ slides to a big client.
We had worked days and nights to accumulate those slides. But we knew deep down that the document wasn’t usable. Heck, even opening a document with more than a 1000 slides is difficult, let alone knowing what to make of it.
In some organizations, the impression that work is being done is more important than the work itself. Most of the folks at the client would not know anything beyond the fact that it had more than a 1000 slides. Invariably, as an organization grows larger, denser and more opaque, this tends to happen to its work culture.
As managers, the key to preventing this from happening is to evaluate our teams only based on the work they do. Everything else is immaterial – how long they work, whether they show up at the office and how many breaks they take. We hire people for the work they do – not how busy they appear to be.
One of the fringe benefits of having a remote team is that you only get to see people’s work – not the people themselves. You don’t see them get into the office or leave. You don’t see them calling for pointless meetings and packing people into conference rooms.