Productivity Theater

What does Productivity Theater mean?

Things employees do to pretend they’re working hard and being productive

Ever heard of the term ‘Productivity Theater’? It’s a buzzword for the tricks employees use to make it seem like they’re working harder and longer than they actually are. For instance, an employee might stop working mid-afternoon but stay logged into their computer until evening, giving the illusion they’ve been hard at work all day.

Productivity theater came into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many employees shifting to a work-from-home setup, some found creative ways to give the impression they were just as busy, if not busier, than when in the office. For some, these tactics were a way to slack off without raising suspicion. For others, it was a means to prove they were indeed working just as hard from home.

However, this isn’t a new trend. Even before the pandemic, there were employees who indulged in productivity theater in the office, sometimes pulling it off even more convincingly than their work-from-home counterparts. So, whether you’re in the office or working from your living room, remember – appearances can be deceiving!

Example for using ‘Productivity Theater’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard of ‘Productivity Theater’?

No, what’s that? πŸ€”

It’s when workers fake effort and productivity at work.

Oh, like pretending to be busy when they’re not?