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Workaholic posers exposed

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Interview | Workaholic posers exposed

If you think working 80 hours a week is part of your job description, take note: things might not be as they appear.

A recent study from Boston University, publicized widely by an article in The New York Times, exposes how many are just acting like they’re busy at work. In a lot of demanding professions today, workers are often just tending to personal chores, child care or sleeping instead of engaging in job-related activities—not to mention the time they spend on social media, doing online shopping or making personal calls.

Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, found that in one global consulting firm, 31% of men and 11% of women gave the appearance of working more than they actually were. The takeaway: many workaholics just pretend that they’ve got their nose to the grindstone.

I recently shared my views on workaholic participation, work cultures and real world output in an interview with John Hockenberry on NPR radio, as well as on the related topic of why we see gender differences in these behaviors. My view: people reflect the culture and attitudes of where they work. Companies often design unworkable systems that measure either hours billed or hours of face time in the office, rather than actual productivity. So it’s not uncommon for people to exaggerate the amount of work that they’re actually doing. Give a listen.

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Leadership Resource by
Michael Melcher

Michael Melcher | Next Step Partners
As one of the Next Step Partners, Michael is a seasoned expert on developing leaders with a special gift for communications, including: writing, speaking, teaching and working in diverse cultural environments. Learn more about Michael, connect with him on LinkedIn, send him an Email or just call 646.405.4800