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Added: 24 November 2004
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Project Skive

Project Skive looks at the creative time-wasting efforts of six English white-collar workers. Skiving, which derives from the French esquiver or "slink away," is an English slang term that includes all non-work activity engaged in during time when one is supposed to be working. The participants in this study all have excellent employment records and are currently in good favour with their bosses. They are also accomplished skivers, devising elaborate diversions that fill the interstices of their work day with idle pleasures and pursuits, including online shopping, false meetings, contests and tournaments, writing of weblogs, and malicious gossip.

Skiving is always an illicit activity that, although it may be tacitly tolerated, is not openly acknowledged by one's supervisor or boss. In most cases the fun of skiving comes from strenuous efforts to conceal it. The use of a computer "rear-view mirror" to spot an approaching supervisor or the carefully rehearsed cover-up story to disguise having taken the rest of the afternoon off after a short meeting imbue stolen work-time with a heightened value and excitement. But skiving also begs the question, why are we at work if there isn't really that much work to be done? And wouldn't our lives be better if we could just cut the surreptitious skiving and move to a three-day workweek?

Launch Project Skive

Read about Project Skive's latest developments!