At company that I used to contract for, I had a work-at-home manager who networked with her work-group using instant messaging. We could all converse and get answers and resolution much faster than if we were scattered about the office, and the mgr could tell if we were away from our computers.
I agree that managers need to shift to being more task-oriented and less time concerned.
I get much more work done at home (or in my local cafe) without the distractions of the office, but my agency is reluctant to allow work from home. I also save commute costs, and on incidentals like lunches and coffee, and laundry and dry cleaning. A pretty good chunk of change if added up.
One issue here seems to be internet security, but I think that the overstretched IT staff doesn’t want to set up all those VPNs, so they call it a security issue. But I still believe that lack of trust is the bottom line.