This article was originally published on 365Economist
When work from home first took off, it was exciting: typing away right from our couches and wearing pajamas all day felt like heaven. Then the reality kicked in as the days turned into months and suddenly all of that time at home wasn't so fun. But we're here to remind you that office life isn't all it's cracked out to be in our memories; scroll through these office fails for some good laughs that will have you feeling appreciative for working from home.
A Standing Desk Like No Other
Many of us have heard of the health benefits that come with using a standing desk instead of sitting all day. But, sadly, not all of our employers can or are willing to buy us one. So this guy decided to take destiny into his own hands and made a standing desk like no other. Rather than rise the table, he got rid of the floor. One thing's for sure: he's creative.
But this photo just brings us back to all of those times we asked our bosses for things and they said no. So we'll stick with work from home and our own standing desks or, even better, couch.
All Those "Funny" Pranks
How cute is it when your co-workers use your face as the main point of a joke? Especially this one, where the people's heads were used along with an animal's body. We might be laughing along now, but we sure didn't find it so funny when we were the punchline of the joke back in the day and suddenly found ourselves being laughed at without knowing why. Those weren't exactly the best of times.
So when you're feeling fed up with being alone all day or having to juggle work and children, remind yourself of all of those adult children you no longer have to see on a daily basis.
Battle of the Kitchen Notes
We've all had a coworker like the one below: the owner of this reindeer mug is sick and tired of others using his personal property for their hot drinks. And so they left a not-so-passive and quite direct note that doesn't even tell people not to use it, it just says "People know not to" use it. So basically, if you do use it, then you're not very educated.
But the saga didn't end there as coworkers poked fun at the reindeer mug owner. This battle of the kitchen notes might seem funny now, but it didn't feel so thrilling when it was happening on a weekly basis.
Unbelievable Levels of Boredom
Ah, office life: when people get so incredibly bored that they start to pick off all of the tiny seeds around a strawberry. Can't relate? Then maybe you've never worked in the corporate world. We can think of a handful of situations where picking seeds off of fruit was ultimately the most entertaining thing to do out of all of the horrible possibilities. And clearly, at least one person agrees.
Whoever took the photo above was having one unbelievably boring day at work. When you are drawn to pulling the seeds out of your strawberries, you have reached a new level of wasting time.
The Beautiful and Clean Office Decor
During all of this time working out of the office, many people have taken the opportunity to truly make their house a home. After all, you better love the walls you're forced to stare at all day. But back in the office, that's far from reality. Cue all of the horrendous office art, cluttered workspaces, and soul-draining carpeting filled with mysterious stains that we rather not know the truth about.
But we have to applaud this guy's effort: he successfully turned an ugly stain into an entertaining cartoon-like figure. But personally, we'll still choose our perfectly-vacuumed carpet at home over this one.
What Happens in the Office Never Stays in the Office
We promise that this picture is far from what you might imagine it to be at first glance. The photo below captured a package of Easter eggs someone had delivered to their office, and the fact that it ended up on the internet goes to show just how little privacy the office provides. This person's coworkers thought the package was hilariously inappropriate and quickly recorded the moment. What happens in the office literally never stays in the office.
This is why working from home can be so great: there are no coworkers to snoop into your packages or even spy on your work screen while you're pretending to work but are actually on social media.
Last Minute Meal Prep Gone Wrong
There are endless tips and tricks online for how to meal prep for the week and stay healthy while constantly on the go. But let's be honest, no matter how hard we try, there are days when that pretty stuff just does not happen. And on those days, we can end up with this mess of a lunch: banana-infused spaghetti inside a plastic bag. Oh, the office life horrors.
And in those moments, the worst isn't when we're packing it (although that feels pretty brutal, too). The worst comes when it's actually time to eat it. Suddenly, your lunch seems less pleasant than the team meeting you just had.
Coworkers Who Think They're Hilarious
Imagine this: you come into the office one day to find a new coffee machine with a sign attached that says "voice-activated." You spend the next five minutes trying to figure out how to make this new, fancy machine work. You haven't had any caffeine yet since waking up and are already having to make small talk with your coworkers. And then it hits you: this machine isn't voice-activated; that one "funny" guy probably stuck this sign on it to prank people.
So let's all give thanks that we no longer have to deal with those coworkers who seem to have a totally different sense of humor from us and like to mess with our morning cups of coffee.
Those Pesky Office Bugs (no, Not Your Coworkers)
Imagine being so bored at your office, and having so many dead flies lying around, that this is what you do during work hours. Honestly, we have nothing but respect for the artist: these pieces took bravery to make. Whoever did it had to individually pluck and prod each insect. And then it took massive amounts of creativity to turn them into dancers and soccer players. But even with all of that respect, we wouldn't wish this on anyone.
We think working from home, where the flies are (hopefully) less and the time can be spent in other ways, is much more beneficial for humanity. Not so much for the flies, though.
Passive and Very Aggressive Notes
We've probably all been victims of a passive-aggressive message sent during work-from-home hours. Some of us have even been the ones sharing the aggression! But work from home life gives much less opportunity for your coworkers to be unnecessarily and rudely passive-aggressive since they have much less space to do it. No nasty comments can be exchanged in the hallway or condescending notes stuck on the door (at least not from your coworkers).
And anyway, passive-aggressive notes from coworkers just hit differently than ones from friends, family, or roommates. We'll take a "wash the dishes" sticky note over the condescending sign posted above any day.
That Coworker Who Always Does Too Much
We all have one: that coworker who always does too much. But when that means they turn their cubicle into a castle, not necessarily that they do more work to suck up to the boss, you sometimes can't help but love them. Seriously, this cardboard castle gives the whole cubicle-office life a whole new look and we are loving it. But you know what's even better than a renovated cubicle?
Not working from a cubicle at all. We hope the creative genius who made this castle is now spending their free time during work creating amazing things for their home.
The Pesky Office Pets
Oh, did we say pets? We meant pests. But in the office, what's the difference? Those cockroaches can start to feel like they are part-time employees who you see more often than your team members. But we have to appreciate someone taking a nasty part of office life and turning it into a tiny art display. The details are just overwhelming - yes, the cockroach has an Apple laptop.
But even so, we imagine this is more fun in a picture than in your own office. Imagine walking down the hall to this after spending the morning stomping on cockroaches. Yeah, it suddenly doesn't sound so funny. We'll be sticking with work from home.
Extra Sensitive Coworkers
This picture sums up the harsh reality that can come when working with others. Think having your pet or child as a coworker is tough? At least you can tell them exactly what's on your mind, for the most part. But that sure wasn't the case when we were all dealing with sensitive coworkers in the office. Let's not forget how hard it can be to work with others, even for those of us who consider ourselves total people-people.
Of course, we are still in touch with coworkers when we work from home. But for some reason, walking on eggshells during a Zoom call and then being able to hang up and vent out loud just feels a lot better.
Coworkers Who Feel a Little Too Comfortable
If anything represents the level of disrespect that can occur in the office, it's this photo: someone's precious babies pictured on their desk were vandalized with googly eyes. And unless the person who did it is the desk owner's work bestie, we have a feeling they weren't too happy with someone messing with their personal property. And so we can add this to the list of reasons why we'll be sticking to working from home.
For the most part, we can walk away from our work from home space and come back to it looking the same way we left it. So little office surprises like the one here are far from missed.
The Endless Small Talk
For some people, facing social interaction every day can be overwhelming. Throw on top of that all of the superficial small talk that office politics calls for and you've got an introvert's nightmare. Most offices have a "Linda" type: that person who loves small talk and asks prying questions to people who have no interest in sharing that kind of personal information. Thanks to working from home, most of us are safe from Linda and she's safe from us.
After seeing the aggressive letter this person wrote, we have to admit that we're feeling a little concerned for the safety of all of the offices' Lindas. So let's continue to work from home for them.
So Many Cables and Even More Time
The supply room can be a lonely and sad-looking place. But when you've got lots of cables and even more time on your hands, do not fear: you can have Bob Marley in your supply room just like in the photo seen below. This office employee got creative with the endless cables hanging on the corner of these shelves and pasted a cut-out of Bob Marley's face on it and we're not one bit upset about it,
But still, if we had to choose, we'd choose work from home life over meeting a fake Bob Marley in the supply closet any day. Plus, at home, we can just blast Bob on the speakers instead.
Game of Thrones: Office Edition
This proud king has made a throne out of computers. We have no words. At this point, we are literally speechless. How do all of these people have so much free time? Beyond that, how do they have so many extra computers to play with? You would not be able to do this from home, and why would you want to? It is a very cool throne, though, and we bet this guy is very well-respected at the office.
Although we are sure this was the highlight of his day, and the other employees, we cannot imagine how much time he had in order to complete this project.
Halloween Time in the Office
While some of you might love getting dressed up for Halloween or other themed holidays, we've got some news for you: not everybody does. And for those of us who dread finding the perfect dress for the holiday party or the ideal costume for Halloween in the office, these work-from-home days during the holidays have been a blessing. No more finding the perfect balance between funny and appropriate for an office costume or spending money on things we'll never wear again.
The truth is, we'll choose pajamas at home over matching costumes with our fellow team members any day - no matter how much we love our coworkers. No offense to the Power Ranger squad.
An Office Supply Transformer
Working at the office boredom solutions: make a transformer out of office supplies. Working at home boredom solutions: watch the entire 'Transformers' film series. We're pretty sure most of us would choose the second option over the first. This isn't to say anything bad about the creation pictured below; the creativity involved is on a level we'll never reach. The stapler remover as a head with paper clips as the body? Genius.
We're just saying that, even after looking at this beautiful sculpture, we would prefer watching a movie on our couch to pass the time during a boring workday than making a little transformer.
Getting Beyond Bored
One of the best parts about working from home is getting to take care of personal/household issues throughout the day. Have a 20-minute break before meetings and nothing to work on during that time? No problem, just fold the laundry you threw into the drying machine during your lunch break. Or go watch half an episode of whatever you're currently binging on Netflix. The possibilities are endless when your office is your house.
But that was certainly not the case back when we were working from the office. Short lunch breaks and long commutes made it nearly impossible. And so, when bored, we had no choice to turn dad jokes into arts and crafts projects like in the photo above.
Days When Our Motivation Disappeared
We've all been there: you have plenty on your to-do list, deadlines that are far enough away to not be urgent but will soon be sneaking up on you, and yet you can't seem to get anything done. We're only human and so there are bound to be some days where our motivation, along with our productivity, completely go out the window. And back when we still had to go into the office, those days were some of the worst.
Finding ways to pass the time isn't easy when you're working from a desk in an office rather than from your house. And so, the rubberband model of production pictured above was created.
This photo shows the lunch of someone who wasn't exactly in their right mind when they packed food for the next day, if you know what we mean. Hence why they packed some sandwich-making ingredients and... two beers. Talk about wishful thinking! But the truth is that when we work from home, this situation doesn't have to be so wishful after all. It can be reality on some days.
And so there's another good reason to work from home! Although we definitely don't recommend telling your boss that when they ask why you don't want to come back to the office.
When You Forget to Pack Lunch
The only thing worse than eating spaghetti from a palstic bag for lunch? Forgetting to pack lunch entirely when you really can't afford to buy one. You know what that means: begging loved ones to drop off some food during their own busy day. And that means there's no guarantee we'll be getting a quality meal. And that's exactly what happened to the person who snapped the photo below.
"My sister forgot to pack lunch for work today, so my other sister decided to bring her one," a reddit user explained of the random assortment of foods. A raw potato, cheesestick, and whipped milk chocolate frosting is never a combo you have to face when working from home.
What Would Mandy Do Without the Spoon
Oh, the joys of having to eat a lunch packed by someone else never end. For some reason, it feels different when we pack our own horrible lunch versus when someone who supposedly loves us packs a horrible lunch. Like, if you really loved us, would you pack sliced pizza with a spoon and wafers for dessert? And the note saying "Bring home spoon" feels like putting salt on a wound.
We can't imagine that Mandy is sitting at home, working away, thinking to herself, "I miss all of those moments when I didn't have time to pack a lunch for the office and so my boyfriend packed me a delicious slice of cold pizza with a useful spoon."
Lunch Breaks That Are Way Too Short
This sandwich is definitely unfinished. And that's one thing we don't miss from being stuck in the office: hurriedly putting together a meal during a short 30-minute lunch break. When you need to have your lunch made in this short amount of time, sometimes you don't get the best results. So we think it's way better to be able to stay home and take as long as you want and can for lunch.
You can start boiling the water during the 11:30 meeting, stick the pasta in during the next break, and stir it while your camera is off during the following Zoom call. Sounds ideal.
Faulty Office Appliances
We are not sure how this happened, but this baked potato-turned meteor definitely survived some sort of cooking torture. Using whatever appliances that you have at the office can be confusing. Not only that, but they can also be disgusting, such as the microwave that no one ever cleans. Either way, you want to be able to cook in peace without thinking something could go wrong or blow up.
Another beautiful reason to be stuck at home for the near future, at least. Home is where the fully-functioning microwave is. And even if it's dirty, at least you know it's your dirt and not your coworkers'.
Wow, What a Very Impressive Waste of Time
We think mastering Origami is cool, and maybe a fun hobby, but as something that you're forced to do because you're so unenthused that you can not think of literally any other way to cope, it's kind of a shame. We cannot think of doing anything more tedious and with more wasted energy. If this person is so talented and so bored at work, maybe they should try out starting their own Origami business.
And with work from home life, they can do exactly that without having to quit their other job until things take off. If you ask us, it's the best of all worlds.
You Can't Actually Use This Amazing Waste of Time
Based on the Flinstones, this car is a non-working toy and also another actually pretty cool waste of time. Unfortunately, people actually did this because of their boredom. Must have been a very boring day at the office, can you imagine having so little to do that you have the time to make this detailed creation? Let's start to name all of the things that you could be doing at home, instead of making this.
You could take a bath, you could eat a good meal, you could watch TV, you could read a book. Or maybe you'd still want to create a Flinstone's car.
More Insects Made Out of Office Supplies Because Why Not
Scorpions made out of copper? Wow, what a great way to waste time. This is truly talented, and while I am very proud of the people that have built such amazing objects, I feel very bad for the level of boredom they must have reached being stuck at the office. Being in a situation that made them so very bored, that they had to find whatever useless materials they could find to waste their useless free time. Once again, more things you can do while being at home, instead of being stuck at the office.
How about, going for a nice walk? Doing a workout will definitely help you feel better about sitting mindlessly. There are infinite possibilities of what you can do while being spiritless at home, instead of at the office.
Not Your Typical Pokemon
This is a picture of bacteria. Not everyone has a typical desk job at a typical office, and some people are feeling passionless in other places. Still, having to go to your place of work, wherever that may be, can make you feel trapped and kill your ambition. Here we have an example of someone getting extremely creative about what they have to do at work. Someone used their productive work time at a lab to make pokemon out of bacteria.
Although it is very creative and somewhat gross, we hold back our judgment to be proud of them. And to be honest, we also feel very bad that they were that bored.
Fake It Till You Make It
Imagine this: it's freezing cold out and it's holiday time, but you still have to come to work every day from 9 to 5. On top of that, you have way too much free time at work. The solution? Make a fake fireplace out of empty cardboard boxes to bring a sense of home into the frigid office, of course. We have nothing but respect for the person behind this gorgeous creation.
But still, who would choose to make time pass at work by building a fake fireplace over sitting by an actual fireplace or your Christmas tree at home? Yeah, that's what we thought.
A Lot of Talent and Even More Time to Waste
Another post we are unsure about. On the one hand, we are truly amazed by what this person has created due to the fact that they had way too much free time. On the other hand, what an amount of free time they must have had in order to create it. If you love to draw, and you are that good at it, we would say that the best thing you could do is keep drawing, while you are at home.
Being forced to do something you love out of blandness will make you hate it, and doing it in a more comfortable place, like your own home, can make it much more enjoyable.
When the Waiter Gets Bored
Another "wow" post, but also another "oh my goodness how were you so bored" post. We are almost positive that these are plates, and while stacking them like this is very impressive, it is also very impressive that someone did this at their place of work. Once again, if you do not have a typical office job, it is still possible to want to lose your mind from being trapped at a place that you hate.
Unfortunately for our service workers, we can't propose better solutions for working from home. So we'll just continue to appreciate their restaurant-inspired sculptures and hope they're not bored out of their minds.
Unbelievable That This Attack on Gravity Was Possible
This is a certain type of coin being somehow vertically stacked, completely avoiding gravity. We were almost sure upon first seeing this that it was photoshopped because it must have been nearly impossible. How uninspired do you actually have to be to do this? How much time do you think it actually took them to get this to happen? Although it is a very cool creation, it is still not worth it.
Stacking coins and trying to defy gravity because of a mundane workday. Honestly, the lack of things to do to even think about doing something like this, let alone actually doing it, is just mind-blowing. Once again this is quite impressive, but more than anything, it is truly sad. Stay home and enjoy it.
The Saddest (and Weirdest) Combo
What a "clever" idea. Honestly, aren't we worried about some of the images that we are seeing? The main point is, we should honestly really take a minute to realize how lucky we are that we do not have to deal with looking at this in real life. Whether it is the empathy, guilt, or, disgust that's ailing you. This would be better put back in that bag for a good amount of time.
We just hope this person has since upped their lunch game while working from home. Seriously - you can't live off of avocado and garlic even if you somehow find it an edible combination.
The Pathetic Office Snacks
These chips can be dangerous to someone trying to stay healthy. Office food can be scarce, and worse than that, it can be junk. It is extremely hard to control yourself when you are sitting at a desk all day and surrounded by who knows what kind of food. Personally, we would not be able to resist the temptation of eating out of sheer boredom. And some of those office snacks are very not diet-friendly.
We would much rather stay home, where we can better control the food that is sitting around, begging for us to eat it.
Too Much Sauce at the Office
Here we have condiments from some fast-food place being stacked into a character from Star Wars. Honestly, the thing that makes us happiest about this picture and the main reason we do not want to go back to the office, is all of the junk food sitting around the kitchen that we could be eating. There is no way this sauce is something healthy, it is definitely barbeque, ranch, or something else that will destroy any aspect of your health plan.
Either way, it is nice to avoid going to the office and being tempted to eat them. It's also nice to avoid going to the office and spending free time taking a nap instead of building a little statue out of condiments.
More Insects Made From Office Supplies... Sigh
Another scary scorpion; what is it with the endless amounts of talent coming from these mundane offices? Beyond that, why such gross creations? We are not judging, considering our lack of talent, but we would like to know where they are drawing their inspiration from and we really hope that it isn't from their own office. Please tell us you haven't found any scorpions or other types of scary things there.
Honestly, this is really making us think that maybe no one should ever have to go back to work at an office. Perhaps working from home should be the new normal.
Subjecting the Presidents to Humiliation
Here is a picture of a few origami dollar bills, specifically Lincoln and what looks to be Jefferson, being used against their will to create entertainment for some very bored people. We find this picture to be a perfect summary of how boring work can be. As ironic as it is, to use money as a tool to deal with your boredom, we do find it a great example of how all of the topics we have previously covered can sum up how horrible it is to be stuck at your place of work, instead of in the comfort of your own home.
Use this meaningless, time-wasting picture to truly remind you how grateful you are to have your freedom.
Building Something Positive With Something Negative
Here we have a castle impressively built out of packs of cigarettes. Office life will lead you to do crazy things, if not just to try something new because you are so sick of the redundancy of the life you live. This is a very unique and creative way to use the awful lack of enthusiasm in your life. Even though this is also a big waste of time, we recommend doing this with the cigarettes instead of smoking them.
More than that, however, we recommend staying at home so that you do not have to think of more creative ways to cure your lack of enthusiasm for work. You're welcome.