Must-Have Office Skills

1 Apr

1. Never Walk Without A Document In Your Hands

People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. Whereas people with nothing in their hands look like they are heading for the canteen. People with a newspaper in their hands look like they are heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus, creating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use Computers To Look Busy

Any time you use a computer, it looks like ‘work’ to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they are not bad either. When you get caught by your boss – and you *will* get caught – your best defence is to claim that you are teaching yourself to use new software, thus, saving the company valuable training expenses.

3. Messy Desk

Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we are not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s the volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your desk, bury the document you will need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail

Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing – they call because they want you to work for them. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they are not there – it looks like you are hardworking and conscientious even though you are a devious weasel.

5. Looking Impatient & Annoyed

Always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Leave The Office Late

Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines or storybooks that you have always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past your boss’ room on your way out. Send important emails during unearthly hours (eg. 9.30pm, 7.30am, etc.) and during public holidays.

7. Creative Sighing For Effect

Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8. Stacking Strategy

It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor (thick computer manuals are the best).

9. Build Vocabulary

Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with your bosses. Remember: They don’t have to understand what you say, but you will sound impressive.

10. Have Two Jackets

If you work in a big open plan office, always leave a spare jacket draped over the back of your seat. This gives the impression that you are still on the premises. The second jacket should be worn when you are swanning around elsewhere.


Don’t forward this to your boss by mistake!

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