Human Resources



7 ways to look busy at work

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We’ve all had days where we’re not on our A-game in the office, but almost no one gets away with not doing any work.

We’ve come up with seven ways you can trick everyone in the office into thinking you’re the most hardworking member of the team.

Constantly be on the phone


It doesn’t matter if you’re calling to make dinner reservations or buzzing someone in a different department to talk about how awful the company lunch was. As long as you’re not loud enough for anyone to catch on your actual conversation, and you’re speaking with a furrowed brow, people are going to think you’re really busy.

Reorganise your computer’s folders

This will definitely make you look busy because you’ll have multiple windows open. Besides, it’s a good excuse to clear old documents and files you no longer need on your PC. Talk about multi-tasking!

Pretend your PC crashed


Once in a while, just shut down your PC and play a game on your phone. If anyone asks, tell them your computer’s broken and you’re waiting for IT to come around and fix it. And don’t forget the furrowed brow.

Zoom in on text

This is a great trick for when you need to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. All you have to do is zoom in so that only text is visible on your screen, leaving out the juicy photos or flashy headlines. Just make sure no one lingers behind you long enough to actually read what’s on your screen.

Work from the conference room

Grab your laptop, phone and a bunch of papers, and relocate to a conference room or private meeting room. Not only does this give people the illusion you must be busy on a conference call or working on a really important project, it also gives you extra privacy to do whatever you want.

Scribble, scribble, scribble


It must be important if you’re actually writing it down on paper.

Email, email, email

Alternatively, you must be both busy and popular if you’re constantly replying emails. Just be sure to avoid these mistakes.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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