The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd


What we do at work when we’re not working

…Write on a lot of notepads, apparently

Added on

By Lucy Dunn on

You gotta love a LOLZ survey. LOLZ surveys, especially LOLZ work surveys, are a good thing because they’re a great icebreaker when you find yourself in a room waiting for a meeting to start and the big boss walks in and it’s just you and her/him shuffling papers around in a silent room. LOLZ work surveys are a lifesaver when you’re scrabbling around to find something to say to that guy from accounts who hangs round the kitchen when you’re making tea, but is really difficult to talk to.    

This one, by office supplies firm Avery UK, is a brilliant example. According to their research they have found that during our whole careers – a reminder, that’s 11 and a half years of our lives – we:

  • Drink 24,684 cups of tea
  • Fall out with colleagues 479 times
  • Have 891 showdowns with their superior
  • Arrive at office late 1,026 times
  • Endure 9,824 meetings
  • Get through 196 notepads
  • Spend 13 minutes and 13 seconds each day searching for missing paperwork and stationery
  • Spend five months and 3 weeks gossiping
  • Take 98 days off sick
  • Make 158,982 phone calls
  • Have 1,179 IT faults
  • Send 400,816 emails and receive 537,860

While there are a lot here I don’t agree with (falling out with colleagues 479 times? 891 showdowns with a superior? do you think anyone would even *have* a job if they lost their shit in the office this regularly?), some ring true. Tea drinking: I’m there – if I could find a job that had a cafe in the middle of the office so I didn’t have to get up and make them, I’d start tomorrow. I have definitely endured more than 9,824 meetings already in my career (“endure” is the operative word here). And 1,179 IT faults? Yup, I *am* that person guilty of ringing in with a: “help me, my screen’s gone blank!” and being told it’s because I’ve not turned on the computer.

Probably the only thing that I really don’t find so funny is the last stat. Apparently we send 400,816 emails and receive 537,860, which amounts to approx 119 a day. I have way more than that, in fact my ever-growing inbox is probably the most stressful thing of my whole work day, something I never ever get to the top of; with the constant niggle of not having a chance to reply to people for days on end haunting me throughout the working week. 

Still, always look on the bright side. Looking at this survey I’ve decided I probably need to gossip more, a duvet day wouldn’t go amiss and I definitely need to step up my notebook consumption. And a campaign to persuade our editor to move us to an office with a cafe in the middle? Well, you can but try…


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