Explore - Experience - Excel


9 Feb 2024

(Note: The blog is written purely for academic purpose, its fictitious case – for class room discussion only, (put down with an intention to cover Term 3 Human Capital Management Subject, Unit 5, Contemporary Topics in HR)

In the IT hub of Bangalore, a peculiar phenomenon took center stage at the prestigious Intech Corporation – the “Theater of Productivity”. Let’s unfolds this case with the dynamic backdrop scenes of four protagonists of our case.

Protagonist 1 –  Ishaan

Meet Ishaan, a seasoned project manager at Intech Corp, celebrated for orchestrating intricate illusions of productivity. From meticulously color-coded spreadsheets to seemingly endless meetings, Ishaan had mastered the art of creating an amazing spectacle that left colleagues in amazement. Little did they know, a dilemma lingered beneath the surface was all this showmanship truly advancing the company’s goals?

Protagonist 2 – Tej

In the era of remote work, Tej emerged as the virtual genius. A master of the digital stage, Tej seamlessly transitioned a virtual realm. Amidst the flood of emails and constant pings, he left his virtual audience wondering, was this genuine engagement or a carefully crafted act?

Protagonist 3 – Sona

Enter Sona, the enigmatic enforcer of productivity standards within the organization. As the head of operations, Sona unwittingly became entangled in the dilemma about Ishaan and Tej. How could she discern between authentic dedication and the staged performances that seemed to dominate the corporate landscape?

Protagonist 4 –  Pratap

Leading the organization was Pratap the CEO of Intech Corporation. As CEO, Pratap grappled with the dilemma of fostering a culture that valued authenticity over performative busyness. The dilemma for leaders is in recognizing the difference between a high-performing team and one that’s simply putting on a show. Could he steer Intech Corp away from the toxic glamour of Productivity Theater and towards a workplace where genuine contributions shone?

Productivity Theater 

In the grand spectacle of the modern workplace, a subtle drama often unfolds – the performance of productivity. Welcome to the stage of “Productivity Theater,” where appearances may not always align with reality. As we draw back the curtain on this workplace phenomenon, a dilemma emerges, challenging our understanding of true productivity and its impact on organizational culture. “Productivity Theater” is the art of creating an illusion of busyness without substantial output. It’s the meeting that could have been an email, the elaborate spreadsheet that masks lackluster results, and the constant shuffle of papers that gives the appearance of activity. In nut shell, it involves an employee prioritizing tasks that make them seem more productive, more available and busier than they really are. For example, this could be someone who responds to coworkers’ emails or messages on social media platforms very away, even if it’s not an emergency, or who shows up for unnecessary meetings. Another tactic could be to suddenly increase email or digital communication activity when most employees are taking their afternoon breaks. This would give the impression that people are working longer hours, even though they might only be contributing during those times of the week.

The question arises: How much of what we see is genuine productivity, and how much is mere performance?

In this theater of productivity, the reasons employees may feel compelled to showcase constant activity to meet perceived expectations, job security, feel important to their peers and many more. The dilemma lies in the fine line between genuine effort and the pressure to create an illusion of productivity. How can organizations foster an environment that values authenticity over mere appearance?

The Dilemma of Overworking:

Productivity Theater often encourages the culture of overworking. The belief that longer hours equate to heightened productivity can lead employees to stretch beyond healthy limits. The dilemma is discerning between dedication to the job and the hazardous practice of burnout.

The Ripple Effect on Company Culture:

The impact of Productivity Theater extends beyond individual actions; it can shape the entire culture of an organization. The dilemma lies in striking a balance between fostering a dynamic work environment and avoiding the toxic trap of performative busyness.

Time to Act by our Protagonist

As the characters’ paths converged, a collective realization dawned, the Theater of Productivity needed to close its curtains. Ishaan, Sona, Tej, and even Pratap joined forces to break the illusion. The dilemma transformed into a shared mission, recalibrating the corporate mindset to celebrate meaningful work and nurture employee well-being. Together, our characters embarked on a journey to rewrite the corporate script. The focus shifted from the illusion of busyness to the authenticity of meaningful contributions. The once elusive dilemma of Productivity Theater began to dissolve as a new narrative emerged, one that celebrated true productivity in all its authentic forms.

The Unveiling of True Success:

In the final act, the characters of Intech Corp celebrated the unveiling of true success. The Theater of Productivity transformed into a stage where genuine dedication and meaningful work took center stage. As the organization embraced authenticity, the dilemma dissolved, leaving behind a workplace culture that valued substance over appearances. And so, the story of Intech Corporation became a beacon of inspiration for others, encouraging them to unmask the illusions, dismantle the dilemmas, and create stages where authentic productivity could flourish. In the grand narrative of corporate life, the characters of Intech Corp had rewritten their story, leaving a lasting legacy of genuine success.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *