Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How to Slack Off at the Office

Many people find themselves stuck in an 8:30 to 5 routine. Day after day they are forced to sit in front of a monitor and monotonously type away. For those about to explode, I have a series of tips to regain your sanity with sneaky ways of taking a little bit of a break.

Camouflaged News - Let's say you want reading your favorite news feed. It's pretty clear that the boss won't be happy if walks by and glances at your screen only to find CNN open. Instead, copy the text of the article into a MS Word file with the company letter head. This way, you can engage your concentration into the story while looking like your focused on proof reading some work.

Double Up Explorer - It's inevitable that someone will pass by while you're aimlessly surfing the net at work. However, when you rush to minimize the IE window, you might not notice that the title can still be seen on the taskbar. To avoid potential embarrassment, open up a second internet window. If you have enough windows open, Windows XP will group the IE windows together and will hide the individual titles. If dealing with Firefox, open a tab with a more business related tab. Befor you minimize, click the work tab and the more appropriate title will be displayed.

Cover Your Tracks - The most important thing you should remember is to cover your tracks. This means open your internet options and clear the history, cookies and temporary files. It's all too easy for your boss to check up on your leisure surfing when you history is left intact.

Be Clairvoyant - If you hear someone coming, close your window and start doing something right away. This may sound obvious but you'd be surprised at how many people will wait until they know that the passerby in coming to them before they'll close their widows. Suddenly starting a new task when someone comes in is highly suspicious. Instead, start holding a paper in each hand. Holding 1 paper makes you look like you just picked it up to look busy. By holding two papers, you appear to be actively comparing them.

Be Colorblind - Webpages with colors and pictures immediately attract attention. Professional slackers might disable pictures from their browsers in the advanced internet settings.

Office Sprints - If you're reading this then you're probably already a slacker. If I just hit then nail on the head, the remember to never walk slowly and look around as you walk through the office. Even, when going to talk to someone, try to look busy and focused on the way. Should the boss real want an update, he'll jot 1 sentence at you and expect a quick answer on the go. Should you dilly dally, the boss will see you have very little important tasks and engage you in a conversation about your progress and guage your productivity.

Screens Saver Life Saver - If your destop is so overrun with windows that you simply can't hide, keep your display settings open. When an intruder enters the room, click the "preview" button on your screensaver then dive into your paperwork. This will make it look like you've been doing that task for at least 5 minutes now and haven't touched your computer.

Alt+Tab - For those that don't already know, pressing alt+tab will scroll you to the next window. This is an easy way of switching back to an appropriate screen without an obvious rushed mouse click. Alternatively, Alt+F4 will close the current window.

That's all for now folks. Keep up the good work...or lack thereof.