If you feel like much of the work you do is “fake work”—and many of you do—then it’s time for a change. Today we’re exploring the book Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem by Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson.
What Is Fake Work?
Working harder is often confused with working effectively, especially in countries like the United States that have a harder, faster, longer mentality when it comes to work. So how can you get a bead on your own work and determine if you’re working on the stuff that matters or just on the stuff that your boss packs into your day?
Peterson and Nielson define real work as work that is critical to and aligned with the key goals of an organization—whether we’re talking about your entire company or your one-man wolf pack. Fake work, conversely, only has the illusion of value. Time, energy, and money are funneled towards projects that don’t help the organization or the individual achieve their goals or produce effectively. Endless meetings, layers of paper work, reporting to multiple managers, and the misguided rewarding of people who work long and hard hours instead of short and efficient ones all contributes to a culture of fake work.