myth 144

Multi tasking I have written about this before. I am prompted to write about it again after reading a letter by a Rick Lim Say Kiong in the Today paper. Rick's position is that employers are using the excuse of job enlargement and multitasking to exploit their employees with additional work but not additional pay. I am always sceptical about the concept of multi tasking. Up to a point, multi tasking works. The underlying assumptions is that the person is able to take on more jobs, can be trained to acquire more skills, and the jobs are easy to do within the limits of the employee doing it. And there is no compromise in quality and details. The problem is that everyone has a limited number of hours to work. Training someone to do 20 tasks does not mean that he can do twenty tasks. His 8 hours or 10 hours a day will mean that he can just do that much. The rest of the training and skills are wasted. Also, in highly specialised jobs where a lot of skills, knowledge and expertise are required, it is ridiculous to think that a person can be equally proficient in all the specialised jobs and skills and mastering them and executing them like an expert at all times. Even supertalents cannot do it without compromising on the quality. Maybe one, god.


TruaiKiller said...

Our dear leader & union ntuc leader have told the employers to have multitask inorder to save $$$ & more productivity.

The employers & leader are indeed exploit employment right & wages, they make used of the develop country labours(china, India, Vietnam etc) & cost as an excused to further skim our local wages & to be multi-task so as to increase their GDP enable them to have better bonuses & pay increases.

Hence, they claimed their talent & success but citizens who are in middle & lower post are extremely exploited & sacrifice to make them more greed & fat.

Real ex.
A project Engineer task: project management & planning, project design cum drafting (AutoCAD & any 3D software knowledge), procurement, and production, ensure store & material, site coordination + equipments erection supervision + equipments transportation coordination etc.

6 days/week but Sunday depends on work schedule.
Working hour: 8am-7pm (mon-fri.)& most of work till 10 -12pm, sat. (8am-5pm)
Pay appr: $3200

Look at this, compare to our dear leaders wages & 9-5 hrs job is indeed a damn shit either we take it & or leave it & I believed people out there known handle project is damn tire & not an easy task (extremely stressful) as compare to ours leaders 9-5hrs peanut job & what are they complaining about their sacrificed & dare demand for sky high salary.

Lost4ever said...

4 legs good, 2 legs better, this is Animal Farm lah, the leaders and the employers and bosses are 2 legged PIGs while the unfortunate majority of us are the 4 legged animals, they will just ask u to work & work lah, no way out, can only get worse in SGP and the capitalist world lah.

First we all thought that communism is animal farm, looks like captialism is even worse, at least in communism all gets to eat, look at Cuba.

While capitalism, look at US & East Asia, truly rich gets richer & poor gets poorer, and the middle class becomes poorer as the day passes by, and more and more work to make ends meet.

Heavy multi-taskings and multi-jobs scenario only happens after influx of super talents, foreign talents, low level talents after the 97 crisis.

We have priced ourselves out of market, and after government gave in to wage deductions and CPF cuts. Every bosses just take the opportunity to MILK the 4 legged animals.

So either we adjust or we ship ourselves into the Ocean, as unless u r local talent, u cannot & never have chance to be foreign talent in another country, so only multi-tasks or into the Ocean.

Anonymous said...

Like those 4-legged animals in animal farm, the leaders tell them that their sacrifice is for the good of all animals. But of course the benefits go to the leaders, not the other animals. Doesn't sound much different from our situation now.

redbean said...

we should start a new religion and elevate george orwell as the prophet.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I agree with redbean, I too am a skeptic about this IMO nonsense.

For those uninitiated, it was Marx (Karl, not Groucho or Harpo) and the communists before him who proposed the idea of being "jacks of all trades"— it became part of the idea of The New Socialist Man.

For these collectivist types in corporations, the myth of "multitasking" is designed to make those cheap-skate big businesses get more bang for their buck when paying for labour.

We live in a division of labour society where individuals specialise

However one must bear in mind that we are all "multiskilled" to a certain degree.

Therefore if a firm expects its labour force to multitask in activities that do not require a high degree of specialisation (i.e. a moron could do the task), then multitasking makes sense.

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