Much Ado About Nothing The case against busywork.

Much Ado About Nothing The case against busywork.

  • Words Sala Elise Patterson
  • Photograph Scottie Cameron

At one of my first office jobs, an especially buxom co-worker used to nap in plain sight every day after lunch. Sitting at her desk, she would fold her arms across her chest, rest her chin between her breasts—and sleep. She got away with it for years. Who knows if management thought she was working, but she drew neither a second glance nor reprimand because it looked as though she was. Appearing busy got her off the hook from actually being busy.

It was a behavior management encouraged inadvertently by doling out busywork, those staple office activities meant to occupy people’s time despite not generating an ounce of value for the employee or for the company’s bottom line. Compile a pointless report, proofread a document no one else will ever read, call a meeting to plan a me...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)