What’s your status?

I’ve come, finally, to the conclusion that the most innocently-evil threat to productivity in a business is the status report. You’d think, of course, that I’m referring to the amount of time it takes to fill such a thing out and track one’s activities, but no. It has far more sinister designs on your employment.

Not to dismiss the amount of time such a thing takes, of course. My own statusing timeframe has had to double due to a new browser based system we’re trying to implement for my team: I have to fill out the old standard Word document, and now get to pop it online as well. Nobody beyond my immediate manager reads it, and she only copies the more interesting bits into a bigger report so that higher managers can more easily ignore them all.

But it’s the manager reading it at all that’s the real problem. Why would I complain about it actually being used? Because it’s used as a substitute for, you know, actually having knowledge of what your employees are working on. It’s not uncommon these days to go for, literally, weeks without seeing or having any sort of contact with my manager. That includes increasing difficulty getting responses through email. Why would they need to keep tabs on what I’m doing? It’s bullet-pointed in a document somewhere: exactly the language management loves. Plus, doing so otherwise takes too long, doesn’t it.