I am one of those lucky ones who is a personnel manager in a matrix organization. We are in the consulting business and many of my staff are kept busy by other project managers on specific projects. As a result, most of my staff view themselves as independent contractors and see me as simply signing their timecards and approving training. On a side note, I have about 75% on one-on-ones, but was pressured not to force 100% to do them.
Although we do not approve of telecommuting as part of a regular schedule, we do allow it on a case by case basis (when employees or their kids are sick, those couple hours after a doctor appointment, etc.). While I am okay with this, I have been caught off guard recently by the lack of communication about telecommuting and some of my staff just not showing up.
One person I called to ask where she was actually said that I could have found out by "asking around the office". [I had been at a client meeting when she came to the office and announced to coworkers that she'd be working from home/Internet cafe the rest of the day]. I almost lost it, but tried to remember that I can't give feedback unless I can smile and laugh while delivering it!
Am I just out of touch with the new age of technology by actually wanting folks a) to be in the office during normal working hours and b) communicate/request alternative schedules in advance??