Add productivity to the list of things Zoe Williams doesn’t understand

Burnt out: is the exhausting cult of productivity finally over?

Cue complaints of long working hours, stepping off the treadmill to do what really matters like volunteering etc.

Which isn’t productivity, that’s production. Productivity is the opposite – increased productivity is more production in less time. The cult of production would indeed mean working ever longer hours for The Man and money in order to lead an increasingly consumerist lifestyle in this monstrous wasteland of late-stage capitalism. The cult of productivity would be to get that shit out of the way in the least time possible in order to free up more of life for the things that matter like friends, family, community and watching the tweeting birdies fly by.

Jeez, can’t these people even understand the language?

11 thoughts on “Add productivity to the list of things Zoe Williams doesn’t understand”

  1. And of course it’s capitalism that has been very good at increasing productivity, socialism that has merely increased production.

  2. you could run a coach and horses through most journalist’s arguments about productivity.. in fact that is where you’re most likely to find them to discuss it.

  3. “Which is why an organisation such as Ustwo Games likes to call itself a “fampany”. “What the hell is that?” says Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won’t Love You Back. “A lot of these companies’ websites use the word ‘family’, even though they have workers in Canada, workers in India, workers in the UK; a lot of us don’t even speak the same language and yet we’re a ‘family’.””

    The thing is that work *does* love you back, if you’re writing games. It’s why people work in gaming, because they love what comes out at the end of it. There is a joint mission to make something and people are excited to work there. You want to make money? Go and write software for Nationwide. They pay more and demand less hours than gaming companies.

  4. It’s the essence of male bonding.

    Work together to make something you are proud of.

    It’s s friendship group, a religious community and whatever else rolled into one.

    The modern version of a hunter gatherer band.

  5. It’s the essence of male bonding.

    Work together to make something you are proud of.

    It’s s friendship group, a religious community and whatever else rolled into one.

    The modern version of a hunter gatherer band.

    Until some power skirt gets told to create the HR department…

  6. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    Hard work and productivity are two different things, and while there is often a correlation, just as often there is not.

    Any moron can work hard. No moron can be truly productive.

  7. It is indeed productivity – just from another viewpoint. For the business owner getting more production out of the same salaries is an increase in productivity. Even if that is achieved by the employees merely working longer hours.

  8. Not so much really. Any – at least any economic – measurement of productivity is done with time, not money.

  9. @ Dennis
    Yeah, *but* for a given non-moron with a job that involves physical labour increasing/decreasing effort (up to the point where carelessness sets in) results in increasing/decreasing production per hour.
    This is also true in some non-physical jobs.
    Working smarter – where it is possible – is the better way to increase productivity but if it isn’t (and you’re not as fit as Marvin Hagler) then increasing productivity *can* be exhausting.
    Of course, what Zoe Williams considers exhausting wouldn’t be half-way through my warm-up.

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