I've come to enjoy the internal shenanigans of office life. One aspect of this is watching apparently ineffective people appear impressively busy.
Here are some tactics I’ve noticed the less diligent employ:
1. Be enthusiastic. When there is a new project in the offing, make sure you are the first to put your hand up. Once you are given the mountain of work to do, move on to tip number two …
2. Delegate. Use all your powers of persuasion (I’ve found flattery takes you a long way) to get other people to do the work for you. Ideally, quiet modest people, because tip number three is …
3. Take the credit. If someone has done a brilliant piece of work, make sure you crow about it. You do not necessarily have to imply that you are the person responsible for the work, but if you are the person shouting loudest about it, people will assume you had something to do with it.
4. Give most meetings a miss. Only go to meetings where there are senior people and influencers, so that they think you are also a mover and shaker. All other meetings are a waste of time.
5. Use social media. This doesn’t mean you have to post any of your own material, just retweet and put links to other people’s stuff. The more you are seen on social media, the more people think you are working hard, when actually the reverse is true.
6. Copy and paste. When writing that press release, don’t try and craft your own masterpiece when a copywriter has already written a brilliant ad. Use their talent, that’s what they are there for.
7. Get in early. It may sound counter-intuitive, as laziness is usually related to lying in bed as much as possible, but bosses love people who get into the office first. You can always find somewhere to have a snooze later.