I don’t really like administrative tasks. Do you? They are pretty good for feeling somewhat productive. At least for most of us. Being able to fill up a simple form that gets you through to the next stage, or file a report to get bite sized information to your boss that he can bring to his boss or see a bigger picture than the nitty gritty can feel ‘productive’. But this is part of a longer chain of work that must all take place before real work happens.
Admin that keeps information flowing is useful and productive only when decisions are made based on them and action taken. The reason why consultants are often able to make recommendations that can bring about cost savings in big companies because somewhere somehow, there’s always someone churning out reports that no one is actually reading or bothering with. But no one told him to stop so he didn’t stop. And he is probably afraid to find out that he’s been wasting his time all these while, if he does stop and no one notices.
And people also don’t spend enough effort designing admin and processes that makes life easier for those who are doing the admin work. More importantly, the work ought to be more useful to them than their bosses. We’ve taken for granted that admin tasks are only for those receiving it but someone working on admin tasks can benefit from the discoveries in putting numbers together, aggregating things. If we can create intuitive platforms that generates dopamine hits for little admin tasks done by a worker, that’ll be a greater use of technology than the attention-hungry social media platform.