The things bosses are doing to boost productivity are killing productivity

In the era of remote work, bosses are worried about lazy employees slacking off. And so they're forcing workers to come into the office or deploying surveillance software to track their every keystroke and mouse movement at home. 

New research shows, however, that these actions are precisely what make employees WANT to slack off and "steal time" from their employers. 

The evidence is clear: The best way to drive productivity is to let employees work when and where they want, and to trust them

It's time to talk about productivity again

Remember when everybody used to obsess over productivity? That conversation has fallen out of fashion in recent years. But it's time to bring it back.

The reason is that productivity crashed this year.

A productivity decline in the second quarter of this year was the largest ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (It recovered very slightly in the third quarter.)

Changes in productivity appear to shed light on the remote work/work-from-home trends. A simplistic view is that productivity went up when more people worked from home, then crashed when many were forced to come to work again.

I'm a strong advocate for remote work, but I think this conclusion is wrong.