I lie every Monday morning. Someone gets in the elevator, we awkwardly make eye contact, and a millisecond of silence sets off a chain reaction of default small talk beginning with, “Ah man, back to the daily grind.” The conversation ends with someone grumbling in response at a very low decibel as we shuffle out of the elevator. But let’s be serious. What are we, lumberjacks? What daily thing am I grinding? Why do we say that?
Some people have to walk into a coal mine on Monday mornings. I walk into an office with delicate Macbook Air computers and a meeting room with a leather couch that is actually called ‘Lounge Town’. Anyway, my point is this. Work is work, but it doesn’t have to be a grind.
And it could be amazing if you took a moment to appreciate your coworkers and the greatest gift that comes with working in an office.
Today marks my two year anniversary at BLITZ. Over those 730 days in the same 800 square ft sea of Ikea desks, I have seen a wide range of entertaining distractions that I honestly believe could not be fully appreciated in any other atmosphere. These moments are rare and can only happen when a group of people have hit the highest level of boredom possible, triggering a chaotic stream of creativity.
Creativity that couldn’t reach its full potential any other way.
Creativity that makes me love being an average human being.
Creativity that proves no man can be tamed, even in khaki pants.
I have documented some of my favorite ways that my coworkers and I have found to escape our Excel sheets and Keynote presentations to reach a higher level of office stimulation.
Here we go. 10 Things To Do At Work Besides Working.
1. Assign Theme Music to Impassioned Coworkers
Play it whenever they energetically start talking about pie charts, Yelp reviews, conference call etiquette, Jeff Goldblum, Oxford commas, or search engine optimization.
2. Make opening packages a team effort.
Ship everything you buy online to your office. There is nothing more captivating than an unopened box.
Especially if it’s muffins.
Or Warby Parker sunglass samples.
3. Test out tactical gear.
4. Learn to unicycle.
5. Work out
6. Discuss hypotheticals. Constantly. Until all possible scenarios have been exhausted.
Lately, my personal favorite debate has been:
How many John Shis would it take to beat up one Eric?
Would you purposely sacrifice an initial wave of John Shis to distract from the John Shi that would finish him off? Would the John Shis have time to train? Would the John Shis have an advantage because they are lower to the ground? Discuss.
7. Determine Office Feats of Strength
Hypotheticals can only take you so far. When it is undetermined who could actually win in a fight (and HR won’t let you start a fight club) you only have one reasonable option. Determine competitions to predict the outcome of a potential fight. These feats of strength could be:
Showcasing fight techniques in slow motion
Taking turns punching someone’s arm to let them judge the hardest hit.
Ramming cubicle walls.
And finally, the Harry Carry (a race to see who could carry one of our designers, Harry, across the office fastest.)
8. Throw magnets at the ceiling.
Buy bucky balls on the black market. Draw dry erase targets on the ceiling and shoot away.
9. Conversation hop
Walk in circles near areas known for interesting conversations. When you hear something you like, chime in. It doesn’t matter if it’s private, it just matters that it isn’t about work.
10. Open a coconut
With a survival knife.
Or a four story building
11. Join a Space Team
A new app called Space Team syncs up smart phones so that four people can hone their skills of yelling space commands at each other while furiously swiping levers on their screens to get a ship home safely. I promise it looks more ridiculous than it sounds.
And there you have it. Everything I have done in my corporate life instead of grinding.
Projects come and go, but coworkers never do. These guys are my space team for life and my sanity during late-night storms of proposals and presentations. We have accomplished a lot of great things together when it comes to innovative digital strategies for clients, and I attribute it to our ability to take a minute to think outside the box (or ram through it).
While I am stoked about the things we have done in the advertising realm over the last two years, everything I love about working has nothing to do with work.