This is the 3rd email in a series of 5 about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly.

This one is often your (the employer) fault.

Often, quantity is more visible than quality.

An OFS knows that you’re going to see how many support tickets they responded to but you’re unlikely to see how well they responded.

You’re going to see how many images they edited, but not how well done every one of them is.

You’re going to see how many articles were written, but not read every sentence of every article.

Quantity is emphasized by YOU over the quality.

Plus, often it’s easier to do a mediocre job of a lot of things than it is to do a great job with a few things.

This appears more in online work too. Employers look at “How many X did you do today?”

Employers use time trackers to see how many hours someone worked. Employers create metrics to track productivity.  All of this leads to quantity rather than quality being emphasized.

Plus, when you combine this with the power-distance at play, you get someone who feels like it’s the boss’ job to make sure the work is high quality.  It’s the OFS job just to get it done quickly.

Here are quotes from my team:

  • “The quantity issue, I feel that too. I feel a bit of pressure to deliver more because I’m getting paid more. But it’s not just the quantity; it’s the turn-around time. Like, we all have regular tasks that fill up most of our workday. But when a special project comes in, there’s this pressure to get it done as soon as possible, on top of the regular work.”
  • “But maybe some factors causing it is the thinking that “I need to accomplish more”. “I need to respond fast.” “I need to impress my boss that I have done a lot of things.”

Sometimes the daily report encourages this.

“What did you do today?”
“How many things did you get done today?”

They know you’re going to see the report and going to look at how much.  You might not see the actual work…

Let your OFS slow down.

Emphasize that doing better work is more important than more work.

This is tricky and every situation is different.  I wish I had better advice for how to fix this…

Tomorrow we’ll talk about