The rest is organizational overhead


An insight on useless work that perfectly matches my own experience in corporate jobs.

Quoting from Full Time Employment in the Age of Automation (emphasis mine:

The rest is organizational overhead /img/useless-work.jpg
Images source: screenshot of Google image search result for useless work

“For the average contributor-employee in a medium- to large-size corporation (with 500 employees and more), of all the tasks he or she performs during a 40-hour week, only about half—20 hours’ worth—actually add value to the enterprise. The rest is organizational overhead. Thus, there is a good argument to be made that when you do the math, what we can call real full-time employment is closer to Keynes’s prediction of the 15-hour work week than not. The remaining time, which I call organizational overhead, is really just a facade of productivity.”

“What’s amazing is not that employees spend a lot of time in activities that have questionable productive value, but rather, that businesses can actually operate profitably despite these ongoing time-sinks. Why? Because of automation. Machines and software are allowing people to do more work in less time—and it’s not only confined to IT.”

Conclusions left as exercise for the reader… during “work” hours, of course. Or while commuting to just sit behind a desk doing stuff you could and should have (assuming it was necessary stuff) at home, or in the nearest coworking space.

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