Do people really waste time?

I received a PR email with a link to the "Wasting Time at Work" infographic below. The analysis is along the lines of most of these entertaining infographics. Unfortunately, the whole idea of wasted time is so 20th Century. Knowledge workers don't need to be bothered with time entry and their managers hanging over their shoulder (or monitoring them virtually) to see if they are wasting time. Knowledge workers need to know what is expected of them and be trusted that they can do it. There are tools like Kanban to help them manage their work and uncover breakages in the flow.

The other aspect is that the financial numbers, like those included in the graphic, make the assumption that everyone is contributing to the bottom line all the time - that they should be "always busy." This is the kind of thinking that gives you people rushing to finish a project, only to see the results sit because they weren't needed. Or one group killing themselves to wrap up a task, only to find the next group busy with a different "high priority" activity. Should a firefighter be busy fighting fires all the time? Do you want to live in a world where firefighters need to prioritize which fire they put out?

How Do People Spend Their Time At Work? - Infographic

2 Comment(s)

Sylvie said:

I facepalmed a lot throughout this whole infographaphic. I'm also horrified that their solutions includes tracking people's work output. But why stop there? Why not put CCTVs in management offices to make sure they're working all the time, since apparently the more educated you are the more you slack off?


Exactly. I just picked up on the "wasting time" angle, but there were many other opportunities. I got it through email via PR for the company that sells the time management software. *sigh*

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