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Why Managers and Employees Can’t Agree on How Much Work Is Getting Done

Productivity paranoia is real

If an employee works at their desk but no one is around to see it, are they actually working?

According to Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index pulse report:

  • 87% of information workers report that they’re productive at work.

  • 85% of leaders say that the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that their employees are being productive.

This is productivity paranoia: when leaders fear that employees aren’t working enough, even though all signs point to their people working beyond the point of exhaustion. What’s behind this managerial angst?

It’s all about perception. Experts call it input bias: the assumption that the more one puts into a task—time, effort, sweat, tears—the better the end result will be. It’s a kind of productivity theater, a way for employees to prove they’re working. Employees have felt the pressure to replicate these theatrics while working remotely, chiming in to conversations they don’t need to be a part of, and even using mouse jigglers to make sure they stay green-dotted.

Is input more important than output? Is it time to redesign our metrics for success so that they favor outcomes that matter?

Read full article from Microsoft.

(Source: Microsoft)


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