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How to Look Busy at Work

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If you’re at work, you should be working. BWA HA HA just kidding. Apart from certain important personal matters that may have to be dealt with at work (making doctor’s appointment, dealing with your bank/cable company/phone provider), there are times you won’t be busy, if for no other reason that you need a mental health minute. But some bosses don’t realize this, and expect you to be 100% productive, 100% of the time. So it’s important to know how to look busy without getting caught. Fortunately for you, I’m an expert. Position your monitor so no one can see it but you. If possible. When someone comes into your office or cubicle, you’ll have the opportunity to Alt-Tab your way from World of Warcraft to Excel. Always keep important programs open on your screen. Or you can create a screen capture of your monitor when busy, and make this your wallpaper image. Turn off your screensaver. If your boss sees your screensaver running, he or she will know you haven’t used your computer in the last 15 or so minutes. This is especially embarrassing if you’re sitting at your desk. Keep lots of paperwork out on your desk. Tidy=slacking. March around the office looking stressed. Let other workers see you walking quickly past, on your way to that very important… whatever. Have a folder or binder with you at all times. If you have a binder, you must be busy, right? But make sure it’s something relevant, in case your boss asks you what you’re carrying. If your job requires you to be on the phone, then pretend to be on the phone. If your job does not require the phone, then don’t try this — you’ll look like you’re slacking or making personal calls. Talk to your co-workers about how busy you are. Get that rumor going that you’re the busiest one in the group. But be cautious —  spend too much time talking up how slammed you are, and your coworkers will figure out what you’re doing. FedEx packages to yourself. It’s expensive, but it really makes you seem important — like Steve Martin in Bowfinger. Got any more advice for the successful slacker? Let us know in the comments!

How to Look Busy at Work by
Authored by: Erik Even