Work ‘smarter’ not ‘harder’ – your bosses and managers have told you 1000 times. The idea is to make you more ‘efficient’; because as a ‘resource’, you’ve gotta be efficient! However, it takes a few years in the corporate world to realise that it simply hates efficiency. In fact, you’ll get punished if you’re efficient – and this punishment will be indirect in 99% of the cases. Let me explain.
The corporate world, by the nature or structure of it is meant to make each human resource compete with each other. That is, your real enemy or obstacle in your next promotion is your colleague who might be your best friend. Because even if you two work equally harder, your boss will be ‘forced’ to put one of you in the ‘Average Performer’ band and the other one in the ‘Top Performer’ band – all in the name of fitting your performances in the ‘bell shaped curve’.
This structure makes people ‘hate’ efficiency. If you do your work quickly and go out to breath fresh air – the corporate world will tag you as a ‘work avoider’ or an ‘on-bencher’. No one will accept that you indeed completed your work within the deadline and appreciate it. In fact, they’ll envy you and gossip about you on your work avoidance strategies. On the other hand, if you do the same amount of work in twice the time allotted to your or just exceed the deadline by a couple of hours – people will immediately respect you – because you have effectively ‘shown’ them how overloaded you are!
It’s clever marketing!
It’s ‘Parkinson’s Law’ : Work Expands To Fill The Available Time!
That is – if your manager asks you to complete a task by 5 PM and you finish it off by 2 PM – your boss won’t reward you. In fact, he/she will assign more work to you. On the other hand, if you ‘ensure’ that you look ‘terribly’ busy when the clock shows 4:45 PM – the boss will smile at you and you will be able to create an image of a ‘hardworking employee’. It’s got more chances to earn you a promotion.
The bad thing is – you’ll have to fake your ‘busy-ness’ all your life.
Or just accept it as a way of life.
Either way – it sucks.