The workplace is fundamentally different than it was even just a few years ago. And there are so many funny things that go on in the modern office, we just started pointing them out. The first few observations - "Nothing good comes from hitting reply all," "If it's really funny, it's probably harassment" and "Stop tweeting boring shit" - initially appeared as posters we hung in the storefront window of our ad agency in Sausalito, California.
People kept stopping to take pictures of the posters and they wanted to buy them. And then blogs and all sorts of publications wrote about them, and from there the web took over and Pinterest and the Twittersphere sent them everywhere. And that got us to start thinking, 'What do we do next?'
So when Chronicle Books agreed to publish the book version of "Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t," we wrote a bunch more, like "It's not a good idea unless the lawyers say so," "The more you delegate, the less you can be blamed for" and others like that.
We think anyone who's held an office job will instantly laugh at the notions in the book. They'll see themselves or an irritating co-worker, or be reminded of a boss they hate. But as with anything intended to be funny, there's usually a good bit of truth in there, too.
To that end, as we were writing, we thought we might need more than just our observations to make it really insightful. So we commissioned a huge research project with a strategy group called The Paragraph Project. It was an online research questionnaire with 850 office workers around the country.
We asked questions about their co-workers, their use of technology, their morals, their behavior in the workplace, etc. And we devoted a whole chapter of the book to these findings, which are actually quite amazing and pretty funny as well.
For example, nearly two-thirds of workers have Googled themselves. And at the same time, 19 percent of workers think "Googling themselves" sounds like masturbation.
Fourteen percent of Democrats have cheated on their significant other with a co-worker, while 33 percent of Republicans have stolen office supplies. (Proof that we're all dishonest, just in different ways.)
Almost a third of men want their bosses' job, compared with only fourteen percent of women. And given a choice between the two, men would prefer to be "fired," while women would rather be "downsized."
Like we said, the modern office is a radically different environment than the one our parents worked in. Not just because of technology and the shaky global economy, but also because of personalities, lawsuits, sexual freedom and the way the office has really become more of our home. Many of us spend 50, 60 or even 70 hours a week there.
Hopefully, people will get a good laugh out of the book. Then maybe their 8 AM meeting won't suck quite as badly.