It’s usually called busy work and I see it more often than I’d prefer.
Work to get out of work happens when we say, no I’m too busy.
The problem is “busy” is another way of saying, everything else is less important. Usually everything isn’t less important. Being busy is how we get out of the important work. How would it sound if instead we said; “I can’t, email is more important.” or “I can’t, finishing this report is more important.”
It would be harder to get out of the important work if we always had to explain what we are prioritizing.
There is work and then there is important work. The important work should always come first. Too bad this isn’t always the case.
It’s not that we aren’t working, were just not prioritizing the important work and that’s a problem.