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Productivity: The Great Speedup

A few weeks ago, I read an Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times called “The Speedup“, by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffrey, the co-editors of Mother Jones.  They call “Speedup” the dirty secret of the jobless recovery.  In the article, they point out how employers are expecting more and more work from fewer people, and are creating “Superjobs” (more than one job’s worth per person), to load up their best people.  People feel crushed by their workload, but it is wimpy and unAmerican to speak up. Plus, if you did, maybe you could lose that job!

I’m not a regular reader of Mother Jones, and I know, I know, that some of you will label it left wing BS, BUT, I was determined to study this a bit, because I’ve written several times here and in my newsletter about the unsustainable level of productivity in this country, and the myth of multi-tasking.  So I re-read this today, and it makes sense to me.  I encourage you to take a look, and see if you don’t agree with many of the authors’ points.  If productivity has indeed reached a peak, and people are going to start to push back, employers are going to feel some pain too.