If you are working for a boss who equates performance with how busy an employee appears or if you are working a company that rewards only workaholics, you are bound to come across a moment when pretending to look busy is the only way to guard your self-interest. It might sound like a manipulative thing to do but it is an accepted part of contemporary organizational culture and something you should have as a part of your office arsenal.
Get Cluttered For Your Own Sake
Try to keep your desk cluttered. This might make you look unorganized but it will also help to establish the illusion of you being occupied with loads of work. Use every possible resource for achieving this, including your mobile, laptop, documents, files, folders, diaries, calendar, cups, previous reports and dictionary. This also helps in preventing your acquaintances in questioning the kind of work you are doing since they would fear you might seek their help in something that already looks so messy!
Gain From View-Blocking Stance
Try to maneuver your PC in such a way that the screen is visible to others to the least possible degree. Ensure not doing this if a senior has expressed a serious concern over this. Even then you can position the monitor in such a manner that the view of others is hindered to the maximum.
Sometimes Looking Distant Helps
You might be famous in your office as the joke-cracking, rib-tickling, jovial guy but sometimes looking serious can help. Try to use a facial expression that denotes an aura of being highly engaged, as if your work has consumed you—looking unavailable here will help. You can try tapping your fingers on the desk or the chair’s arm-rest. This is a typical sign of someone getting impatient or irritated with work.
Sigh to Elevate Your Degree of Involvement
Inhaling slowly and exhaling deeply with some force or Sighing comes naturally to most of us. It is regarded as a definitive indicator of letting-go of stress or just having gotten over something that was really demanding. Do this every two hours or so, to make everybody around you feel that you are taking some serious pains to wrap-up your day’s work.
Play The Curious Fool To Make Others Dance To Your Tune
One way of keeping yourself awake at the office, making yourself look genuinely busy and ensuring that no one can decode your hidden agenda is to keep engaging the attention of others without actually working. You can do this by repeatedly asking your team-members vague, obvious questions. At most, your colleagues will excuse you for having a bad, forgetful day at work.
Fool-Proof Your Idling Cover
Ensure that you create the perfect illusion of being occupied with work. You can do this by constantly making keyboard sounds. Move around your mouse a lot. If you are wearing a tie, loosen it a bit and ruffle your hair slightly to appear like someone who is totally lost in work. Remain hunched over the keyboard to appear occupied.
Don’t Forget Taking Regular Breaks
Taking breaks signifies that you are slightly tired and need to refresh your senses. Not indulging in your regular tea, coffee or smoking break can create suspicion about your status.
Ensure Your Create Some Noise About Your Workload
Keep reinforcing the perception that you have been kept busy primarily due to a demanding workload. You can grumble about work not being distributed evenly or crib about you being singled out for working on harder tasks.