When it debuted in theaters, Office Space was widely received as a great comedy. Not only was it funny in a smart way. The movie also picked apart the nuances of working in an office environment. This wasn’t just your average office. Think of all the office problems you can, and now imagine they all live under one roof. This is the fictional cube farm at Initech. The film follows Peter, a corporate drone working for the aforementioned software company. His work and personal lives both take a turn when he is hypnotized to be relaxed without worries or concern. However, his therapist has a heart attack before he can bring him out of the trance
The Power of Perspective
Peter’s constant state of hypnosis completely changes the dynamic of his work. Before, he was constantly stressed, enough so to tell his therapist, “Since I started working, every single day has been worse than the day before, so that every day you see me is the worse day of my life”. This is what led to the hypnosis. Now however, Peter has a different outlook. He has learned to not let things bother him. He sleeps in, and goes into work when he wants to. While we certainly wouldn’t recommend doing that, a more tempered approach is good. It’s important to realize things that are out of your control, and not stress about them.
The next thing Peter does is decide to knock down the cubicle wall that has been blocking his view out the office window. He customizes his work space so that it is better suited to his needs. Although destroying office walls and equipment won’t end well, most companies allow personalization. Bring a little of ‘you’ to the office by putting a photo album or maybe a stress relieving toy. Make your ‘office space’ a more comfortable place to work and be productive.
People Make the Difference
Another point the film makes is the difference people can make on your life. In the beginning Peter is surrounded by negatives. His girlfriend cheats on him and treats him poorly, and his boss constantly degrades him with micromanagement. The best parts of his day are with his work friends. Finding a good group of coworkers who can mutually provide you with a positive support structure (or at least some humor) can go a long way in a job. We’ve also in the past shared articles about how to know when it’s time for you to leave an organization and seek out new opportunities.
If Peter had read any of these points he would realize he is well past this due for a change. Don’t feel stuck in a bad job with no room for growth.Work/life balance is incredibly important, and there isn’t enough time in your life to work in a job you hate. Overall, this is the largest takeaway from Office Space. The film certainly portrays offices in a negative light. Many companies have made changes and shifted to a nontraditional layout. Do you live in an office/cube farm like Office Space? Let us know what you think of your work culture in the comments.