In the recent Harvard Business Review article, “Beware of a Culture of Busyness,” author Adam Waytz describes how corporate culture has evolved from valuing what is produced to valuing how busy employees are. In this article, we examine how overvaluing time affects businesses and how applying the deep work model can help increase technology productivity.
What is “busyness”?
The idea that employee productivity can be measured by the number of hours worked is the basis for what Waytz identifies as the “culture of busyness.” Time spent working is an easy metric to evaluate. It is visible and measurable. Trends, goals, and progress are easy to assess. However, the question is whether increasing the amount of time employees work results in increased productivity and business growth.
Studies show that when companies base their salary and promotion incentives on close tracking of employee work time, employees cope with the stress of busyness by adopting mindless routines or “scripts” that allow them to accomplish more with less thought. Even with this adaptation, employees tend to have a higher turnover rate, increased absenteeism, and a marked decrease in satisfaction. They are also more likely to develop health problems or suffer burnout.
Managers may hire and promote employees based on how well they fit into existing organizational cultures rather than on how their talents can help better achieve strategic goals. Because performing tasks is valued more than producing, there isn’t time for employers to question the effectiveness and necessity of the tasks being performed. Organizations that use time as a metric of productivity actually suffer decreased productivity, increased costs, and a lack of sources for innovation and strategic development.
Shifting to a deep work model
Mindless, repetitive administrative or monitoring tasks – referred to as “shallow” or “low-value” work –make employees look busy but do not significantly advance business objectives. On the other hand, “deep work” requiring sustained attention to cognitively demanding tasks, creates more opportunities for innovation and improvement.
To increase productivity, a company must assess what its employees are doing and determine how those tasks relate to the company’s strategic objectives. An audit of shallow work identifies tasks that can be replaced with more efficient processes. Reducing shallow work frees up time for employees to do deep work – tackling the deeper, strategic issues that help a business succeed.
Improving technology productivity
In IT organizations and departments, maintaining, monitoring, and troubleshooting existing environments is shallow work. While necessary, these tasks are time-consuming and costly. IT leaders may struggle to staff and invest in important strategic initiatives. The challenge is to find a dependable, effective method for monitoring those systems so IT teams can focus on the deep work of transforming and innovating for business growth and expansion.
The Rimini Street Solution
One solution to this IT challenge is Rimini Watch™. This suite of proactive observability solutions includes monitoring, health checks, and change management capabilities that reduce downtime, improve performance, and ensure business continuity for Oracle and SAP applications and databases.
Designed to continuously monitor the performance and execution of thousands of processes and to identify potential issues before they occur, Rimini Watch™ gives Oracle and SAP licensees confidence that their critical business applications and databases are fully operational.
In addition, Rimini Watch™ offers integrated managed services for each of its observability products. These services are delivered by expert engineers focused on proactive problem-solving, accelerated business process troubleshooting, and problem resolution 24/7/365.
Ultimately, Rimini Street understands that organizations face the challenge of managing and ensuring the continuous operation and performance of a growing number of complex software applications and databases. This effort demands a heavy financial and resource investment for already-stretched IT budgets. Deploying Rimini Watch™ can immediately help alleviate the heavy financial and resource investments through reduced downtime, better root cause analysis, and faster time to resolution.
Leveraging our capabilities, IT teams can tap into outsourced expertise and shift valuable internal resources away from shallow monitoring and change management tasks to deep work that supports innovation and growth.
You may also like: