What started as a mirror of everyday life became something that affected the real world. By the time “The Office” wrapped up, the company culture depicted on the show barely resembled the average American workplace, and that’s a good thing. We loved the show, but we’re glad for some of the lessons it taught us and the ways it changed the workplace!
The sitcom was funny because it satirized and skewered a dead-end life that many people know all too well, but it feels outdated today. Younger generations have rejected the notion of punching the clock and watching the clock tick.
The millennial work force has spoken loud and clear, as evidenced by a major study by Deloitte. Young workers want a healthy, values-driven company culture that they can get behind.
Team Building Exercises
Remember the episode when the gang went to Gettysburg? Or the booze cruise? Or the beach games? Dunder Mifflin sure did more than its share of team building exercises. Unfailingly, each manufactured and coerced event was a waste of time.
Team building exercises can work wonders for morale and company culture, but “The Office” taught managers some cautionary tales. Coworkers have to get to know each other naturally over time, and you can’t force team spirit on everyone.
What It Means to Work in an Office
Many workers today spent their teens and college years watching “The Office,” and naturally this affected their outlook on getting “a real job” in an office setting.
However, not all offices are like Dunder Mifflin’s headquarters. Some, like those at Hartman, might provide more of an atmosphere in terms of aesthetic appeal. As for the businesses that reside in such offices, employers now feel the pressure to accommodate new workers’ expectations. They want the fun and humor that Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute get to experience on the show, but they definitely want more than the typical cubicle life too. Because of that, workplaces now how to be creative with their decor and perks to be able to attract hot talent.
“The Office” opened a lot of eyes about how to handle romance at work. First of all, anybody thinking about getting away with a secret romance should know they will fail miserably. Unless you are some kind of ninja about it, your workplace relationship is as obvious as Dwight and Angela.
Second, we saw how things can be difficult even for a publicly accepted office romance like Jim and Pam. Inevitably, allegiances and priorities will be tested.
Can You Be Friends with Your Boss?
“Make friends first, make sales second, make love third,” said Michael Scott. When asked if he wanted to be loved or feared, he said both. “I want them to be afraid of how much they love me.”
Michael’s awkward management suffered even more because he tried too hard to be liked. Good managers respect their own authority.
At this point, managers know they can’t be like Michael Scott and accountants know they need to be a little more accurate than Kevin. “The Office” was more realistic than many people thought, but it’s safe to say that most of us are glad that office life has changed and possibly because of this show.