We’ve dealt with work life balance, we’ve rejoiced at the reduced commuting times and we’re just about getting around proximity bias – there just isn’t room for any more hybrid hurdles, right? We’ve finally got flexible working down.
Or so we thought. Now, welcome to the Zoom call Productivity Theatre.
Productivity Theatre was born as a result of over-eager managers worrying about their staff’s productivity on a day-to-day basis, resulting in staff hamming up their productivity levels at peak moments. Essentially, it is the virtual equivalent of that person who rushes around the office with an armful of files, and it assumes that staff can’t be trusted to work at home on a day-to-day basis. Rather than focusing on output and targets, it focuses on micromanaging.
Some new research from Microsoft calls out Productivity Theatre as one of the biggest stressors for employees, revealing that if it’s not tackled immediately, it may result in workers looking for employment elsewhere, seeking new leaders who look at overall output – not the daily grind.
But what can you do if you find your 9-5 is turning into a performance, rather than a pleasure?
Productivity Theatre occurs when a leader doesn’t have an overview of what staff are working on. Instead of allowing room for micromanaging, establish clear boundaries with your boss and set up regular check-ins every second or third day. Run through projects and tasks on both a macro and micro level so both you and your manager finish the call with a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved before the next check in.
Do you need to go and collect the kids or drop your parents to the airport? Then explain this to your manager ahead of time and explain how you will make up the time and ensure nothing falls by the wayside.
Often, micromanaging comes about because of a lack of communication, so by being transparent about how you’re working and how you’re going to manage conflicts, your manager knows what you’re doing and when, meaning they can turn their attention elsewhere. Think of it as getting ahead of the problem. Transparency and being solution-focused means you’re taking pressure off your boss, and making their life easier.
Of course, there always remains the possibility that no matter what you do, your manager and company culture will constantly lean towards micromanaging. If that’s the case, it may be time to cut your losses and find a new job with a company more inline with flexible working.
If you’re looking for a company that offers remote and flexible opportunities, we’ve selected three potential opportunities below, and you can explore the London Economic Job Board for many more.
Employee Relation Specialist EMEA, TikTok
The Role: As Employee Relation Specialist with responsibility for EMEA, you will work with the wider HR operations team to continuously build and deliver a seamless and positive employee experience across the whole employee lifecycle.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for managing and owning a complex case load from commencement to case conclusion while conducting confidential internal investigations into allegations of violations of internal policies.
The Requirements: You will have at least three years working across HR investigations and demonstrated experience in policy and procedure development and enforcement to ensure compliance.
Senior Data Scientist, Monzo
The Role: As Senior Data Scientist at Monzo you’ll guide and enable product teams to measure things that matter and keep improving everything the lifetime value of the company.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for applying your expertise in quantitative analysis, data mining, and the presentation of data to see beyond the numbers and understand how Monzo’s users interact with its products, and how those insights can inform its product strategy.
The Requirements: You will have solid grounding in SQL – preferably Python – and have demonstrable experience in conducting large scale A/B experiments.
Senior Communications Manager, Airbnb
The Role: As Senior Communications Manager you will be responsible for telling the Airbnb story in the UK and Ireland, and positioning the brand among the right audience.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for managing a team and working alongside a cross-functional team from public policy, marketing, legal and sales.
The Requirements: You will have experience across all comms verticals with the ability to develop integrated cross functional comms strategies. This is in addition to an understanding of local business and policy needs.