10 things all office workers can relate to

Ah, office politics…

From washing up wars to air-con based arguments, there are a few universal truths that office workers far and wide can probably relate to. Sure, some things you can’t stand, but others are what makes the 9-to-5 grind totally worth it.

Here are 10 things all office workers can 100% relate to:


  1. Making tea (or any kind of drink) is an Olympic sport

In addition to taking part in the constant battle of who will actually do the dreaded tea or coffee round (and berating the one person who always tactfully avoids them), you’ll also find yourself becoming a self-proclaimed Barista.

Frothy? Extra hot? A dusting of cinnamon? I’m on it.

And yes, you CAN carry 17 cups at a time. Nope, you don’t need help. You’ll be just fine. Dropping boiling hot liquid everywhere is just part of the fun.

…anyone want a(nother) tea?


  1. Passive aggression and office kitchens go hand-in-hand

Whether its stacks of dirty dishes labelled ‘clean me :)’, coffee-stained counters, or the unresolved case of the missing mug circa ‘since-last-week’ (documented via a companywide email chain) – it doesn’t get much worse than kitchen based politics.

But as if that’s not enough to deal with; you’ll also get that one person who feels the need to label everything they own, and that one other person who still manages to take things that aren’t theirs.

Unless your lunch contains a ‘moist-maker’, this definitely should not be a thing.

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  1. You’ve totally nailed the ‘IMing the person next to you’ game

You’re typing, so that means you’re working, right? OK, you’re actually discussing snacks with your work BFF – but to everyone else, you’re just writing a v. important email.

And IM isn’t just useful for sending gifs to someone sitting a metre away. Many work-based chats are perfectly fitted to digital communication, meaning you can actually get things done faster.

Human interaction is overrated anyway.

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  1. ‘Cake in the kitchen’ becomes a universally loved statement

It’s Tuesday. Your to-do-list seems to be growing, and there’s not enough caffeine in the world to fight the afternoon slump. But you know what there is enough of? Cake*.

Especially when it’s presented to you in the form of an email titled ‘cake in the kitchen’, followed by a stream of hungry people doing that walk that’s not quite a walk but not quite a run. You’re just playing it cool, we get it.

*see also: literally any other sugar-based snack.


  1. No one can ever agree on the ideal office temperature

Air-con wars are a real thing.

And no matter how hard you try, you and (approx.) thirty other people just can’t seem to agree on the ideal temperature. One person is wrapped in twelve scarves; another is practically sweating.

The only solution? Constantly complaining about it.

Every. Single. Day.

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  1. You’ve developed an emotional attachment to a toilet

It’s not weird, obviously. You just like to go to the same bathroom stall every time. So much so that you veer towards it without even thinking – not to mention absolutely outraged when someone else is in there.

Don’t they know this is your bathroom? Are they new here?

One word: inconsiderate.


  1. Procrastinating is one of your greatest skills

Cleaning your desk. Making a round of drinks. Doing a five mile run.

Providing it’s anything except that one (or the many) important but gruelling task you just can’t muster the motivation to start, you’ll do it. You’re pretty much your own worst enemy. But does it stop you?

Absolutely not.

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  1. Lift small talk must be avoided at all costs

Lift journeys can be one of two things: a nice, relaxing ascend/descend that conserves energy, or an awkward three minute chat about the weather.

If you’re unlucky enough to bump into a co-worker at the exact moment you’re heading into the lift, you’re likely to experience the latter.

Or, you know, you could just pretend the doors shutting are beyond your power and you just can’t stop them. That too.

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  1. You’ve pretended to know what was happening a meeting at least once

In reality, you have no idea what any of the acronyms (said at least twenty times since the meeting began) means. But will you nod along and act like you do, to avoid the embarrassment of asking? Yes. Yes, you will.

Sure, you might be committing to something terrible. Yeah, perhaps you’ve sold your soul. But who cares?

FWIW, you’ll probably just Google it before the COP anyway. YOLO.

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  1. You’re always signing cards for people you don’t know

Is it a birthday? Is someone leaving? Is that person you said ‘hi’ to in the lift once having twins?

Whatever it is, you’ll be sufficiently confused when you’re handed a card for it. ‘Who from Accounts?’ you say, which is reciprocated with a shrug and a look that says ‘not my problem anymore, buddy. You’re the card-keeper now’.

So you sign it with a safe but friendly ‘have a good one’ – and hope they haven’t been fired.

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