Why are bosses so afraid of staff downtime?

Why are bosses so afraid of staff downtime?

A majority of managers expect staff to remain fixedly at their desks all day. While they might allow for work-related projects and activities as well, some bosses use the tactic of “busy work” to keep employees occupied when they seem to be slacking off 

Compiling an unnecessary report, colour-coding a spreadsheet and endlessly reviewing a presentation are all examples of busywork.

Why are managers obsessed with busy work?

As a result of a quick visual inspection, managers may assign menial tasks to employees in the workplace. Some explanations for managers’ obsession with busy work include the following:

  1. Controlling the situation

Some managers’ view of business as synonymous with productivity contributes to the issue of busywork. In addition to being seen as engaged and making an effort, a busy worker is seen as having a greater moral worth than their less busy co-workers because of this view. 

This creates a situation in which the activity of two office employees rather than the quality of their job might be used to compare them. 

Even though some of the chores a busy worker engages in are unnecessary, micromanaging the time of workers whose superiors distrust their work ethic may however be a viable alternative when such concerns exist.

  1. We make ourselves appear busy

There are many people, not just managers, who see industriousness as a sign of progress. Sending messages to confirm our online status for example when we want to seem active. 

Despite the fact that many remote workers are able to complete their tasks more quickly, many nevertheless feel the need to perform more intensively..

Employees who are irked at the idea of being allocated busy work by their managers may be more tempted to self-assign busy work. However, allocating too much busy work in an attempt to lessen one’s sense of guilt may not help your strategic priorities very much.

  1. The effect of doing things that don’t matter

Long-term harm may be done to the manager-employee relationship by constantly assigning activities meant simply to keep people busy.

Assigning important duties to employees or providing them with otherwise overlooked possibilities for advancement, such as training, are two examples of this kind of opportunity. Allowing staff to take a break might also fall under this category.

However, adding more and more busy work would have the opposite impact, particularly for remote employees who are already working increasingly long hours.

Breaking the ‘busywork’ tradition

It’s important to note that not all bosses are in favour of giving employees busy work. Instead of frantically allocating busy work, managers should take a step back and consider what their supervisors want from them. 

The need to keep workers motivated hasn’t gone away with the advent of remote work, but new perspectives on management have. 

Today’s flexible schedules, if they substitute work hours with outcomes, might lead to workers who are healthier and happier.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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