This month’s — How to…..
How to look busy at work…
— Scribble furiously. You may be making your shopping list or other personal notes, but to watching eyes it looks like you’re throwing down ideas for the awkwardly scheduled end-of-day meeting.
— Open several of the applications you normally use for work and have them visible on your computer’s desktop. The applications, of course, vary depending on the nature of your work. For example, if your task is data entry, you should have one or more databases up and running.
Watch out for Big Brother. Most large companies now monitor their employees’ computer usage. Learn about your company’s policies on internet usage, and learn about their monitoring efforts (it helps to make friends with someone in the IT department). If you can’t run afoul of the company’s policies without making sure you won’t get caught, don’t risk it.
- On the frontline, there are free programs you can install, called “virtual desktops”, that will allow you to have two active desktops on your computer (one for work, one for play) that you can switch between at the touch of a key when you hear the pitter-patter of supervisory feet.
— Have lengthy personal conversations away from your work space. There’s nothing wrong with a little personal chit-chat between colleagues — in fact, many managers encourage camaraderie among staff members — but if you yearn to discuss a sporting event, your weekend or any other non-work topic in length while you are at work, find someplace other than your desk to do it. One good option is to book a pretend meeting with a friend (so you appear busy on your email calendar). Book a conference room while you’re at it so you have a private space to talk. (Note: Don’t try this too often, and in general try not to be seen too often with any one friend or people will know what you’re up to.)
— Drink lots of water! Not only is water good for your health and can combat certain types of cancer, it makes you have to use the bathroom a lot. Bathroom trips can take up a lot of time and are a legitimate way to waste time while still looking busy.
— Keep it simple. If you’re called on your whereabouts, have a nearly-true, simple, work-related answer ready for any situation.
— Windows+M/Windows+D is the shortcut to show the desktop instantly. Use this quickly to hide whatever it was that you shouldn’t have been doing while giving the impression that you’re buried in work.