The workplace is the perfect place for people-watching. Complex interpersonal dynamics play out during the 9-5, and distinct personalities jostle for air space. With over 14 years in the shared office industry, The Office Space has observed some key office archetypes. And, despite an evolution in the way we work – more flexible, fluid and fast – these symbols still arise in concentrated form, timeless reflections and expressions of workplace culture and human nature.
Meet the Office Archetypes.
Gym Guy just came from the gym. Here he is in the office bathroom changing out of his lycra. Here he is in the office kitchen, mixing powder into a glass of something green and calling it ‘lunch.’ Gym Guy tracks his steps; he never uses the elevator. He races strangers on his bicycle on the way to work; he does push-ups under his desk. At the end of the day he disassembles his bicycle, stuffs it in a backpack and runs home. He is easily the fittest guy in the office and everyone knows it. He’s a friendly guy because he feels AMAZING all-the-time, but he’s hard to like because Gym Guy’s perennially upbeat parlay makes you feel strangely snappish (despite being on your 4th coffee of the morning). But he’s immune to your monosyllabic grunts because, Wait, where is Gym Guy going now? Oh. He’s going to gym again. Bye, Gym Guy!
Jargon Gal wants to thank you for touching base because, actually, she’s looking forward to rolling out assets, shifting paradigms, and leveraging peripherals across multiple platforms while moving forward on verticals and putting a spin on the end-user perspective with you in the near future. She’s identified the KPIs necessary to achieve maximum and robust ROI on any initiative, and Jargon Gal wants to open the kimono. She wants to get his ducks in a row. She’s keen to let you to know that leveraging this collaboration between influencers toward a holistic and integrated strategy is as disruptive as it is uniquely own-able. She looks forward to working with you and ensuring all deliverable are executed and include strategic buying objectives (budgeting and targeting CPTs/CBMs), and the calculated positioning of concession utilization and added value. Drink the Kool Aid with her, create that blue-sky business pitch, or pick the low-hanging fruit. Kind regards, Jargon Argot.
Someone’s hands are fluttering in your face; they’re swiftly making shapes and carving the air. Whose hands are they? These are Pitch Guy’s hands, and if you’ve got thirty seconds he’s got an idea for a start-up you might be interested in. He’ll email you a deck a little later, but right now he wants to show you how his idea is going to be the Uber of xyz. Pitch guy is in cluster cusp mode – always teetering on the brink of success. He zips around town, working down his schedule of angel investors and dragons dens. He’s got an idea for an app, and he’s convinced it will make waves across industries, rocking the boat and disrupting the disruptors. As he chases the elusive unicorn over the proverbial rainbow, pitch guy is the eternal optimist and we just know he is going to nail it. One day.
She’s been in the office for over a year now, but no-one knows her name as her hours are sporadic. Arrival is strictly after 10am due to a strenuous exercise regime (what’s the point of wearing P.E Nation if no-one can see you in transit to your pilates studio in early morning darkness?). Departure is right on 5pm for our Cinder’s, who leaves us in an intoxicated trance as a heady whiff of Le Labo’s Rose 31 permeates the corridor when she dashes off to an exhibition opening via Charlie Parker’s for a mood-enhancing elixir. She goes by the nickname “expensive” by the kitchen sink gossipers, and word has it, her (current) boyfriend fondly uses that moniker too. Her sartorial blog and social feed (tagged snaps of her daily wardrobe changes) have garnered quite the cult following, though how she sustains her ever-evolving Marni, Dries and Vetements wardrobe remains a mystery. Yet make no mistake, commerce is what she spins; every office seat is occupied daily just to catch a glimpse of Fashionista Sista as she struts in or out in her Pierre Hardy heels in the hope that one day, just one day, she halts and introduces herself.
He is casual Friday every day, with a rotating cast of slogan t-shirts and graphics taunting you as you itch under a starched collar. This guy got rich so quick his wardrobe hasn’t had a chance to recalibrate. Always as relaxed as his dress sense, No-Collar Captain has a whip-smart mind under that baseball cap, and a series of successful corporate buy-outs to keep him unstressed about his bank balance for a long time. No-Collar Captain is into everything digital – he is a blockchain bandit and early bitcoin adopter, and Elon Musk fan-boy. Shunning the “upwardly mobile”, this guy is full mobile – virtually living his life in the cloud. He is multilingual, jumping in the back end with any programming language – Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python and Java – with ease. He is the undisputed leader of the millennial movement, and has a troup of full-stack developers ready to do his bidding. Shoes optional.
She’s a rainbow warrior for the eco empire whose social conscience keeps us all in line, yet her professional calling isn’t even rooted within the sustainability spectrum. Office Sage is a caring and nurturing modern day earth mother, but rest assured, she’s a task master who’s work ethic is hammer tough and her sharp Jil Sander wardrobe sprinkled with sensible COS separates shuns any trace of hemp! Glancing at her daily pow-wows with staff through the meeting room’s glass veneer is enough to make any feisty freelancer yearn for her wisdom and support. Though collectively, the office finds relief during her occasional absences when international travel beckons. Instantly, the unbleached sandpaper is replaced by Quilton in the bathrooms and there is a flurry of guilt-free, single-sided printing!
Disclaimer!!! * These persona’s are a deliberate skew of the nuanced business personalities found in a shared office space. The are ABSOLUTELY NOT based on any client or clients across The Office Space, but rather an observation of the wider world of work. But… if we are honest, there’s probably a little bit of each one in all of us!