Productivity versus activity

Mickey Mellen
3 min readJun 17, 2024

An interesting article recently came out about Wells Fargo firing more than a dozen employees who were faking their work. From the article:

The staffers, all in the firm’s wealth- and investment-management unit, were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating impression of active work,” according to disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

While those employees deserved to be fired, it makes me question Wells Fargo even more. How is it that they didn’t notice that work wasn’t be completed, and only found these people after (presumably) the IT department was able to detect the tools being used to fake the work?

As I was digging into this a bit more, I found a couple of comments on Reddit that summarized it quite well.

  • Good managers measure productivity. Shitty managers measure activity.
  • This is their metric for getting work done?? Mouse moving and keyboard taps? What kind of shitty company is this that doesn’t have a way of checking your work?

It makes me question a lot of what’s going on over there. As the second comment said, how does Wells Fargo not have a decent metric for actually tracking productivity?



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.