According to a new survey of more than 10,600 global workers from Asana, office workers are spending more than half of their day doing busy work instead of the job they were actually hired for.
Workers say that they spend about 33% of their days doing skilled work they were hired to do.
The annual work index, conducted in October 2021, found that people spent 58% of their day doing “work about work,” including communicating about work, searching for information, switching between apps, managing shifting priorities and chasing status updates.
Sahar Yousef, a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Berkeley and Asana spokesperson says that busy work has been a problem for decades as technology has given people new and constant ways to communicate, and it’s only gotten worse during the pandemic.
Managers can provide better feedback to help their workers answer:
- Is it clear to me on a daily basis what I need to do to succeed at this job?
- Is there a clear start and end to the day, where I can complete tasks I see that go toward the greater impact of the company?
“Having a clear beginning and ending to the day is important to not only avoid burnout, but it also helps people feel good about their work,” Yousef said.