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Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The Fuck-off Factor

I'm writing about some sexy software that is supposed to increase productivity at large companies. This application, like so many others, reduces the amount of time required to perform a commonly-performed set of tasks. In theory, workers will use each of these new-found hours to do more work.

But in practice, how much more work will people actually do, and how much of the time will they spend at lunch or on eBay?

It turns out that there is an effort to quantify this goof-off factor. A report by Nucleus Research called Quantifying Returns From Increased Productivity attempts to measure the "inefficient transfer of time" that follows the implementation of minute-shaving software.

The report says that sales reps and other people who are paid on commission make good use of additional time, as do closely supervised workers. Marketing staffers, on the other hand, tend to use more of their fresh hours for "non-work activities." A key factor in determining the efficiency of time transfer, according to Nucleus vice-president Rebecca Wettemann: "Access to a closed door."

Fortunately, the report doesn't deal with journalists -- although I will say that my recent dearth of blogging is deadline related. In 18 years of journalism, I've never worked for a more demanding editor than the Mad Genius.

49 in a Row

Clemson has never won a basketball game in Chapel Hill. After last night, the Tigers are 0-49. Elijah and I are going to the UConn game on Saturday, which will probably not turn out as well for the Tar Heels.

9:24:06 PM   comment []  

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