The latest trend to hit the hybrid working world has been dubbed “productivity theatre”.
Including workarounds intended to dupe activity-monitoring technology, it covers a range of tricks to make it look like you’re busy when you’re not.
In a way, the human behaviour behind productivity theatre is nothing new. Many people may remember the days when a colleague would leave a jacket over their chair to suggest they were still in the office while they lingered at a lengthy lunch. The post-pandemic equivalent, with so many hybrid workers being out of sight, includes faking activity to fool digital surveillance; sending a flurry of emails during out-of-office hours to suggest commitment above and beyond; or filling the digital diary with appointments that don’t exist.
But productivity theatre is a symptom. It’s not the problem
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