Even More Ways to Do Less at Work, and Still Get Away With It

Quite a few people seemed to enjoy my first article about Doing Nothing at Work, so I figured I would follow it up with even more ways to get even less done.

  1. Watch Your Back: If you work an office where your workstation is a cubical, stick a couple of those mirrors that you can get for lockers (you know the ones, they have magnets on the back) to the wall of your cubical. Position them in such a way that with a quick glance you will be able to see down your row. out your door, whatever. This trick will enable you to easily keep tabs on who is coming up behind you, whether you want to watch out for your boss, annoying co-workers, or the gorgeous new chick from accounting.
  2. Steaming Cup of Coffee: Employ a Fake Cup of Coffee 3000 from the Bud Lite Institute. If you have a steaming cup of coffee on your desk at all times, people will assume you’re at work but just out of the office at the moment.
  3. Never Let People Know When You Work: I once worked at a call center where is was common for everyone to write their shift hours on a whiteboard that was on their desk. This is a terrible idea as everyone will know exactly when to find you. You should try not to post your shift times anywhere public. A better idea is to simply post the wrong shift, preferably having the hours start and end after you’ve already gone home. Please use caution: this may work on co-workers, but you boss can always find out what your shift is.
  4. Be a Jerk: People are less likely to approach you for anything if you have a jackass stigma attached to you. Beware though, this may end up backfiring on you down the road.
  5. Join a Committee: Join as many committees at work as possible, as long as you know that they meet during work time. The best ones to join are the Social, Charity, or Health and Safety committees because you have to meet often (usually monthly, or even every 2 weeks), and you normally don’t have to do a whole lot of actual work.

    At an old job, I was a “Fire Marshal” which meant that every month I met with all the other Fire Marshals and we went over the fire exits, what to do in case of an emercency, etc. That took about 5 minutes, so after that we just sat around and talked for an hour or two.

  6. Hide in Plain Sight: If you have the ability, choose a new desk or cubical to sit at every day. This will make it harder for your manager/co-workers to find you and delegate work.
  7. Pass The Buck: If your boss approaches you with any project, try to convince them that you are much too busy with your current workload, and see if the work could be passed onto someone else to complete. This may seem a bit low, but we’re talking about doing work here!
  8. If Self Employed, Justify Laziness: If you are self-employed you can still accomplish way less than you’re supposed to, though it’s a bit more difficult. If you’re your own boss, chances are that you are already a hard-working individual (if so, why are you reading this?), but you might be able to accomplish less in a day by convincing yourself that other things are more important: have you spent enough time at the golf course or gym to warrant that membership? Your wife/girlfriend always need more attention, so why not plan a day trip.. on a Monday? Have you wanted to paint your office for a while, but just haven’t got it done? Well, hire a contractor to paint it (did you think i was going to suggest painting it yourself? Ha!). While painting, you obviously can’t work in your office, so see one of the earlier suggestions.
  9. Work From Home: Set up your browser or PDA to access your email from home. If you leave a jacket over your chair at work, and your computer on all night, you can send emails just as though you were sitting at your desk. Wake up and send out a flurry of emails at 7AM, go back to sleep until about 10, then sneak into work. Via: Mark
  10. Extra Off-Site Meetings: If you work with outside clients at all, put a lot of extra off-site ‘meetings with clients’ on your calendar. Via: Mark
  11. Fake a Phone Call: If you hear someone coming to your cube, pick up the phone and start speaking angrily into it, like you’ve been listening to some annoying doof for awhile and you’ve just had it with his excuses for not helping you get your project done. Via: Mark
  12. Know who to blame: Prepare a ‘blame list’ showing how it’s everyone else’s fault your project isn’t done. Make sure this is reflected in your project reports. Via: Mark
  13. Power of Disguise: Always keep an Excel Spreadsheet minimized in the tray so that when you hear someone coming towards your office (or cubicle) you can always maximize the window just before the person enters the room, and that DOES look like you’re doing some pretty complicated things! Tip: Insert a couple of graphs in there! Via: Nathan
  14. Use an ‘Email Time Machine’: If you’re using Outlook for email you can schedule emails to be sent at a later time, this is great because you can make it look like you’re working some God awful hours on a project when all you’ve done is programmed the emails to be sent when you’re not in the office. Via: Jimmy R’eh
  15. Two keys are all you need: [alt]+[tab] Via: Sue Donim
  16. Get Virtual: A Virtual Desktop Manager will allow you to set up several Desktop views. I suggest setting up 3 work-related desktops and a single ‘play’ desktop simply because when trying to find the right desktop under pressure (boss working towards you), you will NEVER click the right one first. You can get virtual desktops for Windows, and Mac. KDE and Gnome on Linux have a virtual desktop manager built in, and if you use linux command line, employ screen.

Well, there you have it. It’s up to you if you want to use these tricks to get out of work, but if you do and get caught, don’t come crying to me! Oh, and please don’t flame my comments, this really is just a joke.

Looking for legal forms? Take a look on the net and you will definitely find what your searching for. Looking for forms like tax forms and passport renewal forms has never been easier.


blah blah blah…

what about cluttering your desk and saying your doing work for another higher up when someone else asks for your help? also, dont forget doctors appointments, death in the family, etc.

[...] Part 2 here [...]

I really enjoyed your 1st article, andt his one is par. Great tips. I already have a mirror on my office door where i can see my supervisor coming up the hallway. Again, very nicely done!

Two goos ones from a former coworker…

He worked with two guys. One would come in, put his jacket on his chair, throw an extra set of keys on the desk and go play golf. The keys did the trick. How could he be gone with his keys right there? Took over a year to bust him.

Second guy was a techie who created a screensaver that looked like he was working on a spreadsheet. Combine that with a high-back chair and it’s nap time whenever you want.

Two very creative ideas.

Programmer’s trick:

Load some code prom a random project, set a breakpoint at random, run the code until break.
Lay some paper with some notes in front of your keyboard. Keep hand rested over the keyboard.
Fall asleep (but doe not snore). If someone walks in, it wakes me up and I look like I’m in an intense session of thinking about a bug while tracing the code. This is how I catch on some afternoon snooze.

Be proactive: Be sure to bother your boss with “FYI” types of interruptions many times daily (when you are there) so that when you’re not around, he/she will be grateful.

Okay, these REALLY sound like Chris Morran’s book “Hardly Working”. And I say that because I happened to read Morran’s first, in 2004.

At one of my first jobs there was one particular engineer who actually used the grab-the-phone-and-start-dialing or stand-up-and-start-writing-on-the-blackboard (yes, blackboard) routine whenever I walked by his office! It was hilarious.

You guys crack me up!!!!! My friend and I are always cooking up new ideas to get out of doing work! One thing that has saved my ass numerous times is that I adjusted the brightness on my screne so there would be no reflection in the window behind my desk.

That’s hilarious! That’s funny! That’s great! I almost fell from my chair while reading these “tips” :-DDD

Thx for sharing them!


Keep your headphones at all times ,this prevent annoying workers from disturbing you. Pretend that you have have bipolar or you are just a grown shy woman

[...] Even more ways to do less at work and still get away with it – A second list for lazy people to help them get little accomplished during the day. [...]

Spread the do nothing amongs the many,and watch your country grow. Robots and outsourcing can give us more available doers.

Positively no body is wrong if the job is getting done, the bills are getting paid. I’m talking about your bosses bills. His wants comes before your needs. If he has to compete for lower cost, we all lose. The new slaves need be set free. Or paid the same wage. whether native or immagrant. In this country or another. Too many veterans have already paid the price. The first one was for taxes,the others for profit. I think the prisoners have it right. When theres little work to do everybody needs to do their share.

Well I still have something to say about Doc. He says I got to pay him before I get sick. I aint never gonna understand that nonsense. The banker said its a good idea. Well I think those two are in cohoots. Doc says have a drink wit me. I look at him with my good eye. He’s up to somthing. I drink this concoction and I end up flat on my back in his office. I gotta pay him to practice on me. What? On Tarnations is dat?


I have been doing (very little) as a contractor for a corporation for 2 years now, maintained by my ability to pull off looking busy. I have done some of these things (see similes :)). Running my own business has never be so easy. Its not what you know but who you know. Prior to this i worked as a slave 20 Jobs in 4 years. (I stopped trying half way, i refused to play the politics games) I had a Recruiter who makes more money than i do, i sold myself easy to anyone in a job interview. I’m motivated by money! i hit the ground running, if its to be its up to me. Run the interview yourself, are THEY wasting your time. Then i bludge my ass off. Now i run my own business and Bludge professionally. I’d rather be a bum on the street than work 9-5 40hrs a week. The system can go F itself. I tried the hard work route, sleep on the street, broke as FK. This is so funny i had to add some things for you guys.

Some tips.

1. Buy and Expensive Car (Makes you look successful and almost like the customer needs you not the other way) - :) BMW Z4 M
2. Pretend you actually believe in Law of attraction, Brian Tracey and Robbins. Make em think your a motivational Guru (when all you really want is to sleep in till 11am every day cause you realize the world is run by the Illuminati etc blah blah) :)
3. Get 2 Mobile Phones and Ring yourself and pretend its customers.
3a. Get a friend to call you and tell them to politely “F off, im at work and extremely busy” - loud enough for everyone to hear” :)
3b. Get a friend to call reception as a Politician or Workplace Lawyer. Promote fear to your superiors, they sure as hell rely on Fear to keep you in that cell.
4. STAY away from office politics, this is good for all reasons. Do give anyone ammunition to use on you. Don’t gang up on other staff. Keep to yourself consider work like a prison. What do you care about those other people anyway. :)
5. Rock up to work just before management and tell em you have been there since 5am (some God Damn awful hour in the morning, this works well with automated emails), then you can leave early (Well i can as a contractor) My 8 hours = 4 + lunch, breaks, ciggies etc - lol - :)
6. Have a strong belief that work is modern day slavery and after TAX and expenses why the F should you work hard for rich people? Do you think the private bankers work hard? Believe in what you do is for the overall common good of mankind. Hard work never pays off in this day and age, just kills you quicker. :)
7. Fake Dr Appointments, stuff like that, car servicing etc. :)
8. Put black makeup under your eyes so that you have black bags of stress (some of us naturally have this look due to late night partying and gaming)
9. Tell no-one of your scam, they may turn on you one day. some of my friends know what i do and are jealous, wish i never told them.
10. Get Prescribed Adhd Medications, that makes any situation interesting. :)
11. Spy equipment - Bugs in managements office etc (Keep and Ace up your sleeve and know what they say about you behind your back)
12. Pay commissions to ppl that make it easier for you to do nothing, like buy them a case of beer. That $40 goes well towards your daily $100-$300 whatever and consider a cost of sale. (I pay $70 a day to my boss) :)
13. Buy a first aid kit, if ever you need to fake it you can. Being late will been seen as being committed to work even with a broken arm.
14. Photoshop, Credentials, Masters Degrees, get it?? :)
15. Database - Copy it onto USB (Ace up sleeve) :)
16. Learn NLP - Know your enemy! :)
17. Make your own religion, IE you need to pray after lunch for 3 hours)
18. Learn to Vomit on demand
19. Sleep at work - Small price to pay to show how keen you are. You have your priorities right when family comes 2nd. :)
20. OH&S, whenever you find a situation that questions occupational health and safety, ensure you become a victim of it.
21. Get a Government Job, They do nothing, better still get your wife or self pregnant and take 12 months half pay?
22. Smell like shit - Soon people would rather you stay home.
23. See a Doctor and tell them you want to kill everyone in your office. You could get disability allowance. :)
24. Outsource anything you can, even if it costs you, they are more likely to work in India than i am in Australia.

Add these to your list - my name is - Anonymous - Sydney Australia.
oh, and those who think hard work is key, your just deluding yourself.

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.” - Robert Frost

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