Productivity theater is an act ingrained in society at an early age, where looking busy is valued more than actual productivity.
However, a new report from Qatalog and GitLab shows that remote workers are still replicating their cubicle-trapped counterparts. Abiding by a traditional 9 to 5 schedule, as well as taking little time for breaks or their personal needs.
While remote work has helped eliminate this concept as bosses have little control over their employees’ daily schedules, it’s clear that old habits die hard.
To truly embrace an asynchronous work model, companies need to discourage workers from being on the clock just for the sake of presenteeism.
Instead of attending meetings where workers stay muted for an hour at a time, companies are finding that less is more with workplace efficiency. Plus, the free time allows professionals to cater to personal responsibilities too.
“More than half of workers (54%) say their colleagues are stuck in old habits, and almost two-thirds of people (63%) believe that management and senior leadership within their organization ‘prefer a traditional culture with employees in the office,’” the report states.
“And when employees can’t be in the office, presenting themselves as ‘online’ is likely seen as the next best thing.”
But the Killing Time at Work report finds that digital presenteeism takes up over one hour of a remote workers’ day. So how do companies avoid slipping back into pre-pandemic norms?
Prioritizing when collaboration is necessary is a good place to start.
Gatherings such as brainstorming sessions and important decision-making meetings may require workers to come together, but individual work should be completed whenever a worker is most productive.