People seem to be busier than they ever have been. One result we have experienced due to the decrease in hiring over the last few years is that employees are taking on more work and working longer hours. Some people are doing the work of two people.
Productive Engagement vs. Busy Work
Don’t we all want to feel like we have accomplished something? Otherwise we are spinning the same wheel every day much like the old housework adage of trying to string beads on cord with no knot at the end.
In this fast paced global web economy the amount of time employees are spending at their desks is growing exponentially. We simply have a lot of work to accomplish. Longer hours do not necessarily result in greater achievement or results. The world needs people who can create and manage information. Certainly we can work 12 or more hours a day when necessary, but does our creativity and productiveness begin to wane when sustaining such a schedule over a period of months or years?
Being in the business process management field, I often hear customers say “The end of the day is when I do what I was hired for; I have too much paper to shuffle during the day” or “At my former company, we had a document management system; the employees in my group spend a great deal of their time processing paper because we don’t have one.”
What would people be doing if they could cut down on some of the mundane administrative tasks they must currently perform? One answer is they would have more time to do the work they were originally hired for, which is to perform the services that will grow, enhance or improve a product or solve a customer problem. There is a great difference between being busy and being productive with endeavors that will make a difference.
Here’s a blog post that sums up the subject: