December 9, 2010

THE QUAINT NOTION HERE...:

How To Get Paid To Do Nothing (Susan Adams, 12.08.10, Forbes)

Some years ago I had a colleague I'll call June. It seemed that every time I went to the ladies' room, June was there, applying mascara, combing her long, dark tresses and chatting. She also spent lots of time out on the sidewalk smoking, and in the cafeteria. Exceedingly friendly and warm, she knew everyone and devoted much of her day to catching up on their personal news. What she didn't spend much time on was work. A guy who sat in the cubicle next to hers once told me that he estimated she put in just two hours a day of what could be described as productive labor.

Eric Abrahamson, a professor at Columbia Business School who specializes in leadership and organizational problem solving, calls people like June "Michelangelos of work avoidance." Abrahamson studies workplace fads and time management and has looked closely at the ways some employees manage to get paid to do nothing. He doesn't advocate their practices, but he says that understanding them can help managers address office inequities and make their teams more productive.

Work-avoidance Michelangelos know how to stay idle while suffering no consequences or, in some cases, even getting promoted. June lasted in her job for more than a decade before finally being laid off, and when her termination came it had little to do with her lack of productivity. The office was automating her job.


...is that "managing a team" is doing something.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2010 6:35 AM
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