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I'm developer with 2 year experience, already working with my current Boss for 8 month. I'm just starting working telecommuting for 1 month not all the time though just 1 or 2 days for a weeks. Anyway I recently know that when I telecommuting with TeamViewer my boss starring at my computer monitoring all my movement from my coworker.

Background story, why I start telecommuting because some problem let say disaster so I take day off or so. One day there is critical bug so I have to fix it, the only way to do it is with TeamViewer. After that I see that my performance is quite good or maybe better when working from home so I request my boss to let me do this for maybe day or twice. My Boss say it is okay but I need to give detailed report regarding time to solve bug, latter he say since he didn't know whenever what I write is true we should just trust each other, which shock me when he clearly doesn't trust me.

My question, is this normal thing that happen when someone do telecommuting that I have to put up or it is red flag that must be avoided at all cost. How To make it better.

Update

Thanks for all the answer, I decide to stop doing telecommuting, quite a shame though I really love telecommuting.

  • makes me wonder why he say okay when I suggest telecommuting – user Mar 23 '14 at 15:11
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I wish it was as simple as some people just not trusting telecommuters.

However, I do know of numerous companies which have purposely placed desks in certain positions which make it trivial to quickly see what everyone is doing as a manager walks through the office...

Most companies you sign on with will have a policy saying your email may be read, your phone calls might be recorded, etc. Some companies don't implement the tech necessary to do this. Others absolutely do whether you know it or not.

I remember there was a surge in desktop monitoring software a few years back that would allow management to see what was on someone's desktop any time they wanted without alerting the person being watched. I really don't know if that's popular any more, but I did witness it being installed at numerous locations.

The last thing I heard was software that would use a web camera to snap a picture of the user every so often in order to detect if they were even at their desk. At least a few large insurance companies do this with their remote data entry workers.

Point is, this type of monitoring happens all the time. - some places are just a little more sophisticated about it.

The question is: how are you going to allow it to affect you? Or, even should it affect you?

If you don't like the idea of someone being able to walk behind you and look over your shoulder every so often then you might consider no longer telecommuting or possibly even starting your own company... Likewise, if you are actually using this telecommuting time to honestly perform work for your company then maybe you just grin and bear it until the manager is comfortable with the setup.

Again, this type of monitoring already happens it's just that some companies are a little more in your face about it than others.

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    Adding to the answer, some people feel insecure and need to check on you when you are not physically in the office. The reality is that people on creativity driven jobs need time to relax after some work, they can't be focused 100% of the time. His manager should focus on productivity and deliveries, not on "active" time. Well, it's not that rare to solve a problem at home, in the shower or something. That is not charged, anyway. Some leeway even at work (or while commuting) is normal and acceptable, don't worry about that. – Spidey Mar 24 '14 at 0:29
  • One simple possibility that seems to have been overlooked is that perhaps the OP could do their work directly on their computer at home rather than by remotely controlling a computer in the office. That would avoid the monitoring nonsense, and is how telecommuting usually works for software dev anyways. As @Spidey rightly points out, management at a software company should be focusing on results rather than hours worked. The fact that they aren't implies that they have little experience in the industry. – aroth Mar 24 '14 at 3:58
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    I absolutely agree with both Spidey and Aroth. Management should be focused on the results produced, not whether someone is warming a seat. – NotMe Mar 24 '14 at 14:01
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So what exactly does this Boss do all day?, was he/she just hired to stare at a Screen all day Monitoring your work?

If thats the Case, thats the most boring job in the world for a boss.

To be honest, i don't know the Nature of your Job, but the question is, If you asked any one in the world with, "Do you mind if you get monitored outside the office when you use your Computer" what do you think they say? "oh yes i love it", of course Not.

So if you have solid proof about your issue, then you can have a meeting with your Boss and Ask face to face. as an example "Am I been Monitored when i am outside the office per company Policy, or do you have a Procedure or a Service Level Agreement i can Read to get some more information"

That way as the example shows above, you can keep it professional.

It says, OK i Accept whats Happening, but can i have some more information about this process.

And yes, there should be Trust, but different Places do different things and do it in different way, as an example, Security Companies. So perhaps the Boss is under Orders to keep Taps on people working outside the office. Its only if its personal, that you need to worry, if its company Policy is to be monitored the you have a few choices to think.

  • "So what exactly does this Boss do all day?, was he/she just hired to stare at a Screen all day Monitoring your work?" from what I hear yes, he use laptop though probably multitask and sometimes going to client rarely though. "To be honest, i don't know the Nature of your Job" I'm developer in small company around 15 people. So I'm pretty sure there is no pressure from above management since he is pretty much in above and my company doesn't even have HRD department – user Mar 23 '14 at 15:08
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    Sounds Horrible. Maybe he is treating this TeamViewer software like a new Toy and get bored using it to Monitor you soon. never know – Tasos Mar 23 '14 at 15:35

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