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Business lessons learned from watching The Office

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Last Updated on by Noni May

 

Have you ever watched an episode of The Office. I’m talking about the American version here, not the original British show. It’s about a hapless office manager played wonderfully by Steve Carell who tries to make work fun for his employees while still earning a decent profit. It was a rather brilliant show and one that taught me all kinds of lessons about running a business in the real world. Let’s go through some of the craziest things The Office could have taught you as a business owner. 

You’ll Never Be Their Friend

Try as hard as you like as a business owner, employees are never going to see you as their friend. It’s just not going to happen because you have too much power. You can hire and fire them, you can decide what hours they work, you determine how much they get paid. You’re also the one to tell them off if they do something wrong. You see what I mean? It would be like a child being friends with their teacher. It just doesn’t happen and more importantly, it shouldn’t. If you’re too friendly with your employees, you’re going to lose their respect. Trust me when I say, respect is more important than being liked.

Slipping Into Non-PC Territory Is Easy

As a business owner it is important that you are politically correct. Carrel’s character had immense trouble not crossing this line and it may have seemed like he was racist or a bigot. Really though, the character was just ignorant and that’s something you can’t afford to be as a business owner. I’ll give you an example of this. You might think it’s fine to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to your employees but of course it isn’t. Christmas is a religious holiday, and you don’t know that all your employees believe in it. It’s far better to say ‘season’s greetings’ or ‘happy holidays.’ Everyone knows it means the same thing, but it doesn’t cross over that PC line. Here’s some tips on how to stay PC in the office www.theatlantic.com.

A Reward Goes A Long Way

There were multiple episodes of The Office that showed people working hard to get an incentive or some form of a reward. In certain cases the reward was an actual award like you would get from winning a race. You’d be surprised how many businesses give employees awards at the end of the year for their hard work. They are available to purchase from sites such as www.martinawards.com and they could go down a real treat with your own employees.

It’s Not Just You

Anyone who has ever worked in an office will know that it can get a little crazy. The stories told in episodes of The Office were based on real experiences of the writers in their own jobs. Therefore by watching it you can know it’s not just you dealing with crazy business experiences. It happens to all of us, it happens to the best of us. So, next time you have a horrible day running your office, just watch one of the many episodes and you’ll feel a lot better.

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