22 Ways To Look Busy At Work While Doing Absolutely Nothing
OK listen, because this is important.
Welcome to the world of work. The place where your potential will be rewarded with promotions and pay-rises. Wrong. All those boring tasks you yawned your way through during your boring unpaid internship are back. Work sucks. Fact! Here are 22 survival tips your career advisor never told you about...
1. Always carry a notebook
This makes you look busy even though you haven’t done anything all day. The office is an evil realm. The notebook is your shield.
2. Drink from a takeaway coffee cup at all times
This gives the impression that you’re much too busy to make your own hot drink. Ensure the extra shot box is ticked. Colleagues will think you’re so busy you need that extra smack of caffeine.
3. Leave half eaten Chinese food boxes around your desk
Your workspace may smell of black bean and chow mein but it will look like you’ve worked all through the night (even though you haven’t even worked through the day.)
4. Send a late night email
The more trivial the better. This shows that you’re really 'drilling down into the granular' of your job. Ensure your boss is copied into this email, as this shows that work is always on your mind. Your boss is the master of this technique.
5. Duplicate jackets
Buy two identical jackets and leave one hanging over your office chair. This is a worthwhile expense and gives the impression that you always work late (even though you always sneak out early.)
6. Never turn your computer off - This looks like you’re always working
Screw energy bills. You’re not paying.
7. Have a baby (sort of)
Find a random baby on the Internet and save it as your desktop wallpaper. Babies are the ultimate skiving tool. With a baby you can be late - all the time. You can have days off - all the time. And you are entitled to flexible working hours! A baby can also double as your shield.
8. Use the loo during work hours
Why poo at home when you can get paid to do it at work. Never do it during your lunch. If done strategically, one can amass a whole hour per day of sitting on the toilet. Send a trivial email from the toilet.
9. Pretend to photocopy
There’s one thing in the office that does even less work than you: the photocopier. They never work. Stand by a photocopier as if you’re waiting for a print job to eventually be spat out. Press some random buttons for effect.
Like Edward Snowden in Russia, the authorities can’t touch you when you’re stood next to a photocopier.
10. Always accessorise with a pen behind your ear
No one knows why this makes you look busy, but it does. Builders invented this technique years ago.
11. Check your phone during meetings
In the real world this would just be plain rude, but in the world of work it’s accepted as it looks like you’re multitasking (when actually you’re live tweeting how boring the meeting is.)
12. Sigh a lot
Sighing is a natural physiological reaction to stress. Looking stressed seems like you’re working hard when in fact you’re sighing because the sidebar of shame won’t load.
13. Extend your lunch for as long as physically possible
Take your lunch break the second your boss leaves their desk. Eat your lunch and surf the web. Fiddle with your fantasy football team. Sleep. Whatever. When your boss returns from their lunch break tell them you had some 'stuff to do' and you’re taking a late lunch. One can easily obtain a two hour lunch break everyday.
14. Never stop telling people how busy you are
"Busy!" is your default reply to anyone who asks how you’re getting on even though you’ve done nothing all day.
15. Be hungover at work
Being hungover at work means drinking Coke and eating sausage McMuffins and doing zero work all day. It’s better to be hungover at work than feeling sick at home. Home is your time! If anyone asks why you’re hungover just reply with “I’ve been so busy lately I had to let off some steam.”
16. Public transport delays are amazing
Check the Tube status first thing in the morning. If there’s a reported delay go back to bed for an hour. When you finally turn up for work simply tell your boss that whichever tube line that was delayed was yours and that’s why you’re late.
17. Turn your computer off and on repeatedly
Done regularly throughout the day one can acquire many minutes of blissful inactivity. Blame your computer’s CPU for the repeated restarts. Your boss won’t know what this is and neither will you, but it works.
18. Watch Excel tutorials on YouTube
From afar it looks like you’re creating a clever spreadsheet, whereas in reality you’re daydreaming about your gap year.
19. If Social Media is your job then congratulations! You’ve actually been employed to do nothing all day. #WINNING
20. Offer to do a stationary audit
Offer to tidy the stationary cupboard. Not only does this demonstrate initiative but it allows you to sit amongst the mess of staples and Post-Its for hours while WhatsApping mates.
21. Invent an illness
When you accept your a job immediately inform HR that you have a recurring illness. Narcolepsy is a strong choice. You can sleep at your desk.
22. Finally, don’t be afraid
Your bosses have been doing all of the above for years and they get paid a lot more than you. Welcome to the world of work!