I disagree. Busy work is always avoidable if the business/department is structured in the correct way. This requires that it be staffed appropriately (fully), have competent management, clear chains of command/reporting structure, open and honest communication between “higher” and “lower” level employees, and a fair and just distribution of work/tasks based on knowledge, skills, and abilities, and nothing else. More importantly it requires everyone from the janitor to the CEO to be aligned on goals/objectives, and fully understand how the tasks they perform on a daily basis moves the business closer to meetings them. Most importantly, every employee needs to know and trust that their role is important, and their contribution to meeting those goals is valued. This is typically done through appropriate and generous compensation of various sorts, of which salary and “perks” are only the most obvious. The value given to their work is “proven’ everyday via the compensation they get from it. (financial, emotional, etc.). There is no busy work in a situation like this because everyone understands their roles completely and believes that every action they take is important and valued. They also understand that everyone else is in the same situation as themselves, and thus have a similar set of tasks that have been fairly assigned, some of which might be considered “busy work” in another company, but are not in this one b/c of the reasons described above. Much like Rawl’s ideal society an ideal work environment will be a fair one. Not sure if he considered the concept of ‘busy work’ when contemplating his just society. If not, he probably should have, lol!

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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