I don’t know how many of you have been following the characters on the show The Office for the past nine seasons, but their time on NBC is drawing to a close. Since I study and teach office environments for a living — specifically how you can navigate through one to achieve great professional success — I thought that I owed the hit comedy at least one blog post before it leaves the airwaves. The show does capture several of the personality stereotypes that you will find in any workplace. Do you recognize yourself, or that person who sits in the desk down the hall, in any of the employees?
Do you know a Dwight? He is someone who doesn’t make many friends in the office, as he believes his methods are always right and his talents are superior. There is not much teamwork offered here, but others may work harder just to spite him!
How about a Meredith? This employee is one who pushes the boundaries of appropriate office behavior and who is comfortable with sharing the most personal of details around the water cooler. Does this type of person make an office uncomfortable, or offer some refreshing honesty to a room in which everyone is so conscious about always saying the right thing?
And while Steve Carrell is no longer on the show, The Office would not be the success it is (was?) without his portrayal of boss Michael Scott. Do you know this guy in your professional world? He’s socially awkward. He often appears to have no clue what he is doing. But, he also has those moments he shows amazing insight and sensitivity for the greater situation around him.
So, as fans of the show prepare to say farewell to The Office, I would like to hear from those of you watch the show. With which character do you most identify? Do you think this fictional show does a good job of capturing interactions in a typical office? If not, which program would you put out there as one that mirrors your work experience?