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Through many experiences I think you're right. However that is an issue that could be solved by being better at measuring productivity.

If I can produce better results while playing games for 4 hours and working for 4 hours in a closed office than I could while "working diligently" for 8 hours in an open office, then it's hard to argue for the value of visually supervising someone.

It may be hard to argue rationally, but the protestant work ethic is a strong influence on our culture.

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