Productivity theatre, pay transparency is en route & red flags in the office

By November 18, 2022For Companies

Working with publishers around the world, connecting job seekers with open opportunities, our Amply network shares the real issues impacting the workforce right now. 

Each week Jobbio’s content team creates content for our growing Amply network across a breadth of workplace topics and concerns. This week on The London Economic, we take a look at a new trend, that of “Productivity Theatre” – you’ll already know it if you work with someone who likes to rush around being “so busy”. On Venturebeat, we examine the move towards pay transparency State-side and explore some of the downsides. And on City AM, workplace culture is under the microscope with three red flags in focus to help you determine how healthy your place of employment really is. 

If you’re a publisher, eager to find out how we can help you with tailored career and jobs content, or would like to explore partnering with us, email

productivity theatre

How to act when you’re in a workplace “productivity theatre”

Jobbio contributor Aisling O’Toole explores a new workplace trend on The London Economic this week. “Productivity Theatre” was born as a result of over-eager managers worrying about their staff’s productivity on a day-to-day basis, resulting in staff hamming up their productivity levels at peak moments. 

Essentially, it is the virtual equivalent of that person who rushes around the office with an armful of files, and it assumes that staff can’t be trusted to work at home on a day-to-day basis. New research from Microsoft calls it out as one of the biggest stressors for employees, but what can you do if you find your 9-5 is turning into a performance, rather than a pleasure?

Oscar worthy performances:

Why pay transparency could work against you

While you might think the 17 U.S. states that now have laws surrounding pay transparency are paving the way for a more inclusive and equal future, full disclosure is not always the best policy, writes Jobbio content editor Aoibhinn Mc Bride on Venturebeat.  

She cautions that it can backfire, especially when it comes to negotiating a new salary with your current or future employer. That’s according to a study by Harvard Business School and Brown University. It found that salaries in states that protect an employee’s right to discuss pay fell by 2%, as employers were more reluctant to pay higher wages in order to avoid renegotiations with other staffers.

Then there’s the argument that pay transparency works against people of colour and female employees as it gives a false sense of pay equality, and doesn’t address the issue of representation, or lack thereof, in more senior roles.

Show me the money:

3 red flags for a workplace with a bad culture

We hear a lot about culture at work these days, writes Jobbio’s senior content manager, Kirstie McDermott, on City A.M. While it can be hard to define, according to Stacy Norman, COO and founder of BizClik Media Group and March8, “Culture is surprisingly tangible.” 

Speaking at the recent Women in Business and Tech conference in London, she said, “It can be deliberately shaped and leveraged to allow for employee engagement. It determines turnover rate and impacts company performance, and research proves it affects profitability.”

Norman says companies have certain behaviours that define their culture; good and bad. She points to a blame culture, lack of investment in people and work happening in silos as three immediate red flags to indicate a poorly performing workplace.

Danger, Will Robinson:

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Author Kirstie McDermott

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