One big reason why ‘The Office’ is one of the most fondly remembered television series in the history of British entertainment has to be because it was closer to reality than most television series have ever got at the time. People in real life do not find themselves in situations like the cast of Friends
One big reason why ‘The Office’ is one of the most fondly remembered television series in the history of British entertainment has to be because it was closer to reality than most television series have ever got at the time.
People in real life do not find themselves in situations like the cast of Friends found themselves in. The Office on the other hand showed to an extent what real life is really about, where people boast, pretend to be something they are not and say wrong things. Some may argue that David Brent may have been portrayed to be a freak but what he was really was just an exaggerated version of a person we all know in real life.
It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly why The Office is as popular as it is, but it gave us an insight into what takes place in real offices with real pens and phones, and photocopiers and characters we can all expect to encounter in our working lives.
The following are some of the best things about The Office TV show:
Guide for managers
The Office merely echoed what every person in the professional world already knew; it is not easy being a manager. Even the best managers have a difficult time keeping track of their personal responsibilities and having a job that requires them to manage a team consisting of different types of people, is just the cherry on the cake.
A team that is self motivated may not be very difficult to manage but as you may already know, such a team doesn’t exist anywhere outside the realms of fiction. This is exactly what The Office didn’t try to create and why it is such a classic.
David Brent is familiar with the trials and tribulations of being a manager and despite having the right intentions, his poor management skills got the better of him. This character has undoubtedly taught us a lot about the challenges that one can face when a team doesn’t give you an easy ride.
It Wasn’t Just About Good Guys
To be liked by everyone, when you are managing a team, is nothing short of a foolishly optimistic pipe dream. The Office showed us that it is not always possible to be a nice person and still be able to communicate tough messages. Being stern at times is necessary to get work done and ensure that everybody is on top of their tasks, even if it means your team dislikes you.
Regardless of how cool you are in your personal life, in the workplace you must be able to put your foot down when staff members are at fault, or slacking. This is what David Brent lacked – he wanted to be the good guy who is liked by everybody. This made him forget the fact that he was their leader and that he should assert authority when it is required.
It Wasn’t Sugarcoated
Sugarcoating bad news often has the opposite effect. If you need to share news that may not be taken well by staff, it is best to not beat around the bush but be direct about it. Giving it a positive spin is a better alternative than giving it a coat of sugar.
If the news has no bright side to it, it is better not to pretend something good may come out of it. Most teams prefer to be told the truth and wouldn’t want their leader to be pretentious and patronising.
It Didn’t Always Go By the Book
The management techniques that authors write about in books may contain some helpful advice and it may also improve the way a leader communicates with his or her team. But leaders must be mindful about not crossing the line when it comes to these pieces of advice.
To be able to incorporate these tips into your management style can be useful but recitation of quotes filled with jargon can be detrimental to your reputation and the team’s performance. When a team begins to feel that their leader’s actions are not aligned with his or her words, they will lose respect for their leader.
It Reaffirmed Our Belief that Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Facial expressions and body language reveal a lot about a person and it is certainly true that actions speak louder than words. Simply because you haven’t been vocal on what you feel about a person or thing, doesn’t mean that they cannot understand what is really going on.
No matter what, a manager must always remain professional and try to conceal any gestures that may give away their real opinions which others may perceive as brutal. David Brent was a manager who simply couldn’t pull off a poker face. He would make inappropriate gestures and roll his eyes and at the same time try to keep up his nice guy image. But what he often forgot was that people could read him and knew what he really meant.
It Implied that the Boss Isn’t a Part of the Gang
Being the boss doesn’t have to mean that you distance yourself from the team but you need to understand that you’re not the same as them. People will see you in a different light even without you asking them to do so.
David Brent tried very hard to become a part of the gang and in his attempt to fit in with the rest of the team, he lost authority and failed to set boundaries in the office. He became a little too honest about the issues that the company was facing and needless to say, it was inappropriate on his part to share such sensitive news with other employees.
It Taught Us That Colleagues Shouldn’t be Made to Feel Uncomfortable
Brent was always seeking popularity and the approval of his team. But this constant hunt for friendship made him crack inappropriate jokes which left his employees feeling uncomfortable.
It wasn’t The Office that invented the comedy of realism or awkwardness but it polished and finessed it into a work of art. And, like every good piece of art, it is bound to age well.