Efficient work is important work. Workplace efficiencies are not synonymous with being busy or productive.
Often when you ask someone, “How is business?”
They will respond with, “Busy.”
A similar response may be received for, “How was your day?”
Does Busy Matter?
People are busy. The workplace hustle keeps everyone on their toes. Whether you are WFH (Working from Home) or working in a more conventional setting, busy feels good.
There are variations of busy.
I’ve processed 100 email messages this morning.
It’s hard to get anything done with so many interruptions.
Today feels slow, but I’m staying busy.
None of these mean that you are working efficiently, or that you are productive.
Unknowingly, some organizations develop a culture of busy. In a culture of busy, work is often measured by motion. Who or what appears to be energized and active? When motion is observed, they’re busy.
This makes managing in remote or WFH settings even more interesting. What was once gauged as productive and efficient is now unknown. Although in reality, it may have never been known and certainly not efficient or productive.
In service sectors, anything from Healthcare, to wedding planning, to pet sitting, efficiency matters. While you may be efficient, you may not be productive.
The dog walker may be efficient when taking your pet for a stroll, but productive may mean they can walk two or three dogs at a time.
Running a smooth operation means you need to be more than busy. It means that you should be efficient, but also highly productive.
Doing rework, work with a lot of motion but not going anywhere, or efficiencies that lack scale, are not necessarily productive.
Maybe we should change the answer.
How is business?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.