It’s good to be very busy at work. In fact, the
busier you are the better it is, because when there is little to do,
businesspeople tend to slow down to adapt to that pace.
Have you ever noticed in a store that is not busy how the
salespeople might be chatting with each other or on the phone and the
customer is left to fend for himself or herself? This is not
necessarily all the sales staff’s fault because they may not have been
trained to change pace or focus back and forth from nothing to do to
serving customer needs.
We know from our recent research that when it comes to requiring
results, 90 percent of senior executives and managers say that top
management at their organization is extremely or somewhat demanding.
That is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as those demands are
More problematic are the 10 percent who say their top management is not
demanding. Working in an organization where there is little pressure to
perform can be extremely boring and lead to laziness and, worse, apathy
about customers or the business. Nobody wins. The company can
experience a loss of customer satisfaction, as the apathy of their
workers comes through in interactions. The employee or manager not
being pushed also feels a lack of challenge, and can end up looking for
other avenues of interest during working hours, until a new job
ultimately is secured.
Even worse is when those managers or employees who are not challenged stay in their jobs.
Being “non-busy” at work can occur at any level and if not
checked can cause valued employees to become disenchanted with the
organization. For example, when several managers are working very hard
on a continual basis and they see a peer continually not doing the
same, then can start to question executive management that would allow
this to occur. This can happen at any level of an organization.
Since our research shows that the amount of work (number of hours,
responsibilities, results, etc.) has increased quite a lot over the
past two years, it is understandable that almost everyone feesl busier
at the office.
However, there is a fine line between being
very busy, which is healthy for the individual and for the business,
and being overworked, which is good for neither.
The reality is that the busier people are, the more they get done and the better they feel about the work they are doing.
People at work tend to take all the time there is available to complete
a task or a set of tasks. A small number of tasks will tend to get
accomplished in the same amount of time that a much larger number of
tasks takes by the same people in the same organization in the same
However, accomplishing more within the same amount of time can
be much more satisfying to the individual who really does know when he
or she is performing up to their personal limit.
When very busy, the result can be businesspeople operating at the top of their game.