T is for Time and Motion Study

By: Joshua Glenn
June 18, 2012

A series of 26 posts featuring excerpts from Joshua Glenn’s The Idler’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2008) and The Wage Slave’s Glossary (Biblioasis, 2011). Both books were coauthored by Mark Kingwell, who contributed entertaining philosophical-critical essays on the subjects of idling and wage slavery; and both were wittily illustrated and designed by the cartoonist Seth.


A scientific-management procedure which combines Frederick Winslow Taylor’s time-study techniques with Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s motion-study techniques, time and motion studies were first instituted in US offices and factories in the early 20th century. Workers complained that the procedures benefited only the company, and adversely affected labor; the resulting job simplification not only led to tedium and boreout, but sometimes to decreases in pay and employment.


ALSO: Alienation | Big Rock Candy Mountains | Corporation | Dawdle | Employee of the Month | Flazy | Greybearding | Hobo | Inemuri | Jack of All Trades | Knock Off Work | Lazy | Micawberish | Nobbing It | Onboarding | Pink Slip | Quitter | Robot | Stakhanovite | Time and Motion Study | Unemployment | Volupté | Wage Slavery | Xerox Subsidy | Yakuza | Zero Drag


Idleness, Read-outs