Trust seems to be a commodity in short supply these days—if we are to believe all the media we might be consuming. My personality type tends to trust most people upon first meeting allowing them time to prove themselves either worthy of trust or someone to avoid. Many people default to distrust allowing another to perhaps overcome the distrust—if ever they can.

Building trust becomes essential to both building a brand and building a team.

Therefore, this article I saw in the MIT Sloan Management Review struck me as relevant.

A lack of trust between colleagues and managers in remote and hybrid environments can damage workplace culture and morale.

It was inevitable that the rise in working from home would create tensions inside many organizations. But it didn’t have to be quite this bad. According to a new survey by Envoy, less than a quarter (24%) of employees trust their colleagues to get work done remotely.

Twenty years ago, I told my manager I was going to do more work from home. I was a writer. The cubicle life at the company detracted from the ability to concentrate on writing. I churned out more articles and news from home. In fact, no one on the staff turned out more work. But the boss, worried about control, said, “As long as you get your work done.”

Research shows that distrust damages workplaces, whereas high levels of trust fuel engagement and motivation while reducing absenteeism.

Four points:

  • Assess Employees’ Individual Environments
  • Simulate Natural Interactions — Lots of Them
  • Be Transparent About Monitoring
  • Train Team Members in Getting to the Truth


Pamela Meyer is the author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) and the CEO of Calibriate, a deception detection and inside threat mitigation consulting firm. Her 2011 presentation “How to Spot a Liar” is one of the 20 most popular TED Talks of all time.

Bullet number two should be stimulate natural interactions. Good people management both of local and remote teams benefits from such an environment. Don’t let people burrow into lonely caves. Especially if you are managing nerds.

Transparency is always a key to good leadership. Let people know what you are doing, where you are going, and how they stand with you.

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