Since we are all working remotely, here is a thought experiment all the managers can do to test the effectiveness of remote working on programmer productivity.
First, think about the amount of work done when working from the office and the cost of having and maintaining a physical office. Not only monetary cost, but the wasted time and the environmental cost of the commute.
Now, think about the amount of work done when working from home. Also, think about the cost of doing that, with the added benefit of hiring great programmers anywhere globally and not being restricted to the local talent pool.
One choice clearly trumps the other. Guess which one?
But how can I make sure that my programmers are actually programming?
Well, just look at the actual work and ignore when/how/where they are doing the work.
Just because people are in the office and at their desk, staring at their computer from 9-5, doesn’t mean they are actually working.