“Microbiological Efficiency is over-rated…”

We all know of colleagues who seem to be able to do twice as much work as the rest of us, in about half the time…..

However efficiency is only a very minor quality in the world of microbiology. There are other qualities that are much more important;

  • The ability to spot the unusual.
  • The ability to know when to ask for help.
  • The ability to recognise and focus on what is important and to ignore what is unimportant.
  • To be able to stop and look up more information on an interesting micro-organism.
  • To be passionate about microbiology and have the ability to inspire this passion in your colleagues.

I have come across many excellent microbiologists over the years. Some are fast workers, some slow.

In summary, everybody works at their own pace.

It is not a race, nor do we work in a factory….


Efficiency is overrated in life as well as work. Click on the article here for an interesting insight into this…

2 thoughts on ““Microbiological Efficiency is over-rated…”

  1. Whilst I agree with the crux of your posting, we shouldn’t forget that being efficient does not mean you will miss the unusual nor does it mean you are not focussed or unable to ask for help at the appropriate time. On the flip side to this, just because someone works slower does not mean they will always spot the unusual either, nor does it mean they will have the time or inclination to stop and ask for help or look things up. In my opinion, it is not the speed of people’s work but their knowledge and experience that allows them to “spot the unusual and/or realise when things may not always fit the manual or text book”, think outside the square and realise that every specimen like the person it has come from is individualistic in its own right and may be the one that doesn’t fit the mould.

    1. Thanks Jo.

      To clarify, efficiency is overrated, but completely independent of the other desired qualities. Neither does it exclude them, as you demonstrate frequently!


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