Top Worker Gets Around Boss' Unhelpful Productivity Meter That Held Him Back

Mason Joseph Zimmer
manager hovering over employee's shoulder and pointing at computer screen
youtube | thelonelyisland

Once you spend enough time working at the same place, you start to get a feel for which tasks are actually needed to keep the company going and which ones are just there to appease the management.

And while they'd ideally be one and the same, we've all met someone who cares far more about controlling their employees than actually ensuring the day's work is done in a safe and effective manner.

Since this is something that so many of us deal with, it's always satisfying to hear about the ways that some employees manage to take some power back from those trying to lord over them.

As we can sometimes see, that's all the better when that worker is able to rig things up so their most annoying tasks are done automatically.

When the employee we're about to hear from was made to return to the office, it didn't make any sense.

John Travolta superimposed on bus stop
youtube | Memondo TV

As he explained in a Reddit post, this was not only because he hadn't had to work in-office for about half of his three-year tenure at his company, but also because everybody else on his team could keep working from home.

And if that weren't the case, it would only compound how pointless making them return to their offices would be since they all work from different locations throughout the country.

With all this in mind, the worker asked his boss to change his designation to let him work from home.

In response, he was told that the reason he was stuck in the office was that the company messaging program marked him as "idle" too often.

manager hovering over employee's shoulder and pointing at computer screen
youtube | thelonelyisland

This "idle" marking occurs when an employee doesn't touch their keyboard for five minutes and the management has apparently decided that this is their sole indicator as to whether someone is working or not.

And as for why this employee keeps getting marked this way, the simple truth is that there isn't enough work to keep him constantly busy for all eight hours per day. On an average day, he estimated that his work requires about three to five hours of his attention.

As he put it, "There isn't work to do that I'm neglecting or procrastinating."

And apparently, if you were to look at every metric besides the checker in this messaging system, you'd find that he's quite a model employee.

employee of the month sign with smiling man's photo
youtube | HBO

Not only have his key performance indicators gone up after he started working from home, but he either leads the team or comes in second in just about every performance measurement there is.

He usually has an empty queue of tasks, which means he can address anything that comes up immediately. But since he doesn't fill the time in between tasks by sending coworkers pointless messages or pretending to, he "can't be trusted" to work from home.

So since convincing his boss that this was a poor way to measure performance clearly didn't work, the worker got a better idea.

man looking back from office computer
youtube | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

To keep the messaging system happy, he wrote a simple, six-line powershell script designed to hit the period key every four minutes from 8am to 5pm. He does the same work as before and uses his downtime in precisely the same way as before, but he's technically never idle thanks to this script.

As a result, it wasn't long before his boss was happy enough with "the little icon in some software" that he let the employee work from home again.

In the worker's words, "This concludes my TED talk on why low to middle level managers are the dumbest, most useless do-nothing positions in all of corporate America."

h/t: Reddit

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