How to pretend to be working at work

How to pretend to be working at work

Some days, one doesn’t have the will to work. However, it isn’t always possible to sit around and slack off. Especially with the boss around. However, it is possible to provide the illusion of working while actually engaging in other activities. More importantly, stricter workplaces may attempt to block proper entertainment websites, so one will have to get crafty about things.

Naturally, these solutions work best if nobody can see your screen. Although a couple may managed to escape detection by people who aren’t paying too much attention.

Build with Chrome

How to pretend to be working at work

One of our many browser based games, although this one may one work as a disguise for designers. Build with Chrome is essentially a stripped down Lego game. It does, however, resemble 3D modelling software. Clutter it up a little with some extra toolbars in your browser and you have a reasonable disguise for building spaceships and castles without your boss suspecting anything amiss.

As a game, it is essentially a simplified Lego Digital Designer. Which was a service that allowed users to build virtual sets and then order the physical thing. The service was discontinued in 2012, but it appears that the code behind the designer is being put to good use. Although, once you’re done with Build with Chrome, the Lego Digital Designer is still available for download from the Lego website.

The Wiki Game

How to pretend to be working at work

Wikipedia is a massive storehouse of information, and is readily accessible by even the most strictly controlled networks. It also provides plenty of links to get lost in, so if you run the risk of learning about the Crimean War while researching Moore’s Law. The entire point of the Wiki Game is to follow hyperlinks from one subject to another. It’s a race, so the shortest path usually wins; and you compete with strangers online.

However, for those less inclined to blitz past massive articles looking for possible links, there is always the option for playing it solitaire style. Just choose two random topics and see how long it takes you to reach connect the two. You might even learn something along the way, and if someone asks what you’re doing you can claim its research.

Also Moore’s Law > Gordon Moore > California > Mediterranean Climate > Central Asia > Russia > Crimean War.

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

How to pretend to be working at work

Based on the comic science fiction series by Douglas Adams, this game is a throwback to the text based adventures of old computer games. It’s on this list because text based adventures involve a lot of typing, which makes one look extremely busy as long as nobody can see what you’re typing.

This particular game was set aside from the others because it is currently hosted on the BBC Radio 4 website. Which makes the URL extremely discreet for messing around. After all, how much slacking can a person do on BBC Radio? A great deal apparently, the site hosts at least two versions of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy game; with a new version scheduled to go live at the next anniversary of the radio show.


How to pretend to be working at work

Pretending to be busy with GeoGuessr might be a little harder than the others. The game itself is extremely simple. Players are shown a random location from Google Street View and asked to guess the location of the area. Points are awarded based on the geographic accuracy of the answer. It isn’t that easy due to the fact that 90% of these streets appear to be located in some temperate forest in the middle of nowhere.

That being said, it might be a bit hard to disguise your slacking due to the large images of random locations showing up on your display. It gets worse when you pore over every detail in the picture trying to figure out where it was taken, like spotting a street name in the reflection off a store window located at the corner of the screen.

JohnnyGreig/Getty Images

When it comes to your colleagues, you know that—while there are plenty of great ones you’ll encounter throughout your working life—there are also plenty of annoying ones who will serve to make your time in the office that much tougher.

One of the worst (aside from the person whose lunch diet seems to consist of only tuna fish and hardboiled eggs)? The fake co-worker.

You know the type, right? He says one thing to your face, and then something totally different behind your back.

It’s frustrating—there’s no denying that. And, even further, it will often leave you wondering exactly how to deal. Should you paste on a smile, pretend nothing is happening, and be just as phony as him? Should you confront him head on? Should you go to your boss?

Well, as always, a lot can depend on your individual situation. But, regardless of your specific circumstances, these five tips should help to guide you in the right direction.

1. Confirm Your Suspicions

Before you run off the rails and confront that person with smoke coming out of your ears, it’s important to check your sources first.

Do you know for a fact that your co-worker is being malicious and two-faced—meaning that you witnessed it yourself? Or, is this something you heard through the grapevine?

You already know that office gossip can spiral out of control in a hurry. So, rather than acting on assumptions and jumping to conclusions, make sure that you have your facts straight. That simple act alone will save you a lot of headaches and plenty of unnecessary drama.

2. Get Some Space

Alright, so you know for certain that this colleague of yours is fake. Despite her smile and friendly demeanor, she’ll throw you under the bus the second you turn around. What now?

It’s important to create a little bit of distance between the two of you. Since you’ve confirmed that this person is indeed insincere, engaging in office chatter by the vending machines won’t do you any favors.

Instead, make your best effort to have some space. You don’t need to be blatantly rude or cold. But, avoiding being totally buddy-buddy and limiting face-time will ultimately give her less ammunition to use against you.

3. Keep Records

The last thing you want to do when you’re dealing with a fake co-worker is find yourself smack dab in the middle of an awful game of “he said, she said.”

So—call it paranoid—but it’s important for you to keep accurate records of anything negative, misleading, or mean-spirited that occurs. Whether you end up approaching the person directly or having a discussion with your superior, that supporting documentation will come in handy when you need to add more legitimacy to your complaints.

Try to correspond with that colleague using email as much as possible—that’s a surefire way to confirm that you have important things in writing. If something happens during a spoken conversation? Jot down the date, time, and a description of what occurred.

Yes, I know it can seem like a bit of overkill. But, when you feel like you’re dealing with someone who’s out to make your life that much harder, you really can’t be too careful.

4. Have the Tough Conversation

You could likely deal with the occasional backhanded comment. But, if your issue with this employee seems to be ongoing, it’s time to have an honest conversation.

Your best bet is to start directly with the person who’s causing the problem. Request to schedule a sit-down with him or her where you both can have some private and quiet space to talk—you don’t need this to turn into a recess-fist-fight scenario. Instead, just bring up the behavior that’s been bothering you.

Perhaps she’ll be so taken aback by your direct confrontation that she’ll apologize immediately and you both can move on from there. More likely than that, though? She’ll deny it profusely. That’s frustrating, but you can take comfort in the fact that you’ve made your point and proved that you won’t just roll over and be treated poorly.

What if things don’t improve after your frank discussion? Then it might be time to bring your concerns and documentation to a superior. Nobody wants to be a tattle-tale, but you also don’t deserve to have to keep tip-toeing around this person.

5. Avoid the Revenge Trap

Whether things improve or not, it can be more than tempting to want to get your revenge. It’s only fair that he gets a taste of his own medicine, right?

Wrong. As alluring as that siren song of sweet retaliation can be, it’s important that you always put your best foot forward in the office—rather than taking the knife out of your own back only to use it on someone else. Your co-workers might not always be moral and ethical, but you don’t need to subscribe to that same philosophy.

Needing to cope with a fake co-worker is never fun. But, unfortunately, it’s likely one of those things you’re going to need to do every now and then.

As long as you’re able to keep your distance, cover your own bases, have an honest conversation, and—of course—rise above, you’ll be much more likely to handle that sticky situation with professionalism and politeness.

How to pretend to be working at work

Need a break from work at work? But wish to maintain that hardworking impression in front of your boss and colleagues? Here are 10 tips on how you can pretend you are working at work, without people knowing you are actually taking a break!

1) Keep a serious, intrigued and focused facial expression.

Always appear to be working and deeply entrenched in your work matter. Move about a lot, don’t sit idle too much. Shift around from time to time to look like you’re thinking. Take deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale loudly, it shows the stress that you’re enduring.

2) Prepare Decoy Screens

Don’t forget to expand your spreadsheets and leave it as display when you go to toilet. This is to create an impression that you are doing your work just in case anyone drop by at your desk when you are not around. If possible, set a spreadsheet as your wallpaper.

3) Use Shortcut Key Alt-Tab

Be alert all the time. When you are doing something else on your computer such as surfing Facebook or performing online shopping, make sure to be ready to switch screen to your spreadsheet quickly using Alt-Tab if a colleague who isn’t trustworthy comes visiting your office space. Then, pick up the pace, continue working and start typing vigorously so it sounds as if you are working intensively.

4) Keep your desk cluttered

Keep your desk busy. Give the image of hard work by placing papers, documents, reports, calculator, and stationery on your desk. Position some papers with scribbles in front of your computer. Draw your calendar by blocking off dates and marking appointments on it so it looks packed and eventful.

How to pretend to be working at workImage Credit: Vida e estilo – Terra

5) Ask a lot of questions

A proactive approach. Think up a few work related questions to ask your boss or colleagues. Knock on your boss’ door a few times in a day asking for his opinion. Keep this up until they have an impression you are thinking hard for an idea or solution.

6) Send Email to Yourself, Your Friends or Automatically At Night

Yes! Pretend like you have people to respond to and a lot of emails to read and clear. But you are actually sending email to your friends at work or better still to yourself. You can also set up automate email to be sent out at night to create an illusion that “wow this fella is still working at this late hour!”

7) Eat lunch at your desk

You are so busy that you can’t even go to the pantry for lunch. A good way to let colleagues feel that you are burdened by your workload. Keep a sad face so that people will know you have problems with that heavy pile of work stuff that you’re trudging through tragically. Twitching your eyebrows regularly may help.

8) Create Busy Actions In Between

Shift a pile of files, flick open a filing cabinet noisily, drop a whole lot of papers on the floor and moan about “all that work I have to pick up”. Keep going to the photocopy machine to copy documents.

9) Do the Houdini

Bring an additional coat or jacket with you to work. Hang the second coat/jacket over your chair, so that when you are out of the building having that much needed extended lunch, it appears as if you are still in the building, but looks as if you have simply stepped away from your desk.

10) Create a Messy Look

Roll up your sleeves messily, jumble up your hair and unbutton the first button of your shirt so to appear you are so busy. Be sure that you remove your sunglasses and other similar items from your head when returning from out of office adventures. These are dead giveaways that you were away having a jolly good time.

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Many skills can help you advance your career and achieve the professional success you want. One of those skills is knowing when and how to be assertive without being aggressive. Using the right amount of assertiveness in the workplace can help you negotiate a higher salary, earn a promotion and establish better relations with your colleagues. In this article, we discuss the benefits of assertiveness in the workplace, how assertiveness is different than aggressiveness and how to develop the assertiveness skills needed to help you be successful in your career.

What is assertiveness in the workplace?

Assertiveness in the workplace is a key communication skill that allows you to speak up for yourself in a manner that is respectful and appropriate for the work environment. Assertiveness means being confident in communicating your skills, abilities and goals without being pushy. Assertive people can effectively advocate for themselves and their interests. Assertive people are not seeking better treatment than anyone else, they are simply asking for the respect they deserve. Assertive people also know when and how to say no to a request.

How is being assertive different from being aggressive?

Sometimes people may misunderstand the meaning of assertiveness and how it is different from being aggressive. However, understanding this difference is very important to your career success. Unlike aggressiveness—which is marked by obtrusive energy and initiative—being assertive means being able to effectively communicate your needs and emotions and achieve the results you desire while also being empathetic about the needs and desires of others. Someone who is assertive is still able to create and maintain positive working relationships.

Benefits of being assertive in the workplace

Being assertive in the right way at work can have many advantages for you, your team and your company as a whole. The benefits of appropriate workplace assertiveness include:

Self-esteem and self-confidence improve

As you become more acquainted with the value you have to offer and who you are, you will also feel better about yourself and your performance at work.

Greater contributions to team performance

When each member of a team is confident that their team members will communicate with positive feedback when the project is going well and with constructive feedback when improvements are needed, better team performance is the result. Assertiveness helps you make sure there are positive lines of communication in your team and that each member, including you, is contributing to the overall success.

Stress management skills improve

When you are assertive, you feel confident in expressing your concerns and contributing to resolving problems or issues. You also feel empowered to respectfully and calmly cope with interpersonal issues as they arise. All of this contributes to minimizing stress and creating a healthier, more positive work environment for everyone.

How to develop assertiveness skills

If you are someone who is naturally more passive and would like to hone your assertiveness skills, there are several things you can do to improve in this area and confidently stand up for yourself. Follow these steps to help you develop your workplace assertiveness skills:

  1. Improve your self confidence.
  2. Communicate your needs confidently.
  3. Understand you can only control your behavior.
  4. Practice being assertive. 

1. Improve your self-confidence

Developing self-confidence is critical to learning to be assertive. Self-confidence helps you feel comfortable advocating for yourself rather than being guided by the views and opinions of others. One way to enhance this skill is to learn more about yourself. Taking the time to really think about what your goals are and why you deserve to accomplish those goals can help you feel more confident about your skills and abilities. When you realize you deserve to be just as happy as anyone else, it can help you gain the confidence you need to stand up for yourself.

You can also try to better understand your feelings and take action to do the things that make you feel good about yourself as well as encourage you to perform your best. Recognizing that your feelings, needs, rights and contributions are just as important as anyone else’s helps you become more confident and assertive.

2. Communicate your needs confidently

Advocating for yourself is not just about having a better experience or feeling better. It also enables you to perform to your fullest potential and is a contribution to both you and your entire company. Knowing that being assertive helps both you and your company be successful can make you more comfortable and enable you to confidently speak up about your needs. If you recognize that you are missing something that you need to perform your best and be successful, speak up for yourself rather than hoping someone else—like a supervisor—will recognize it.

You can practice doing this by communicating with colleagues and leadership about the resources and things you need to help you complete a project or accomplish a goal. Once you have made your needs clear, follow up to make sure those needs are met appropriately. If there is something you feel would be helpful to you but isn’t an option to be provided at the moment, politely ask if the decision can be revisited in the future.

3. Understand you can only control your behavior

It is important to know that you can’t control the actions of others. If someone in the workplace has misinterpreted your assertiveness, you can only control how you advocate for yourself. As long as you remain respectful and empathetic of other people’s time and needs, there is nothing wrong with advocating for your own rights and needs in the workplace.

4. Practice being assertive

Just as any other skill you seek to develop, the best way to successfully become more assertive at work is to practice doing just that in common workplace scenarios before they occur at work. For example, you can role-play with a friend or family member to make sure you are prepared for the different responses you may receive and to assure you are advocating for yourself in a way that will elicit a positive response. 

While you are practicing, focus on actively listening to the needs and feelings of others while creating an open dialogue about your own needs. Practicing being assertive in typical work scenarios should help you feel more comfortable and help you remain calm and polite when addressing the same scenarios in your workplace.

If my manager is reading this, JK, I don’t do any of these things.

How to pretend to be working at work

For all my office workers, raise your hand if you’ve ever had to pretend to look busy. *waits* OK, for all those who didn’t raise their hand, I know you’re faking. We’ve ALL done this, this is common knowledge.

So when the question “Office workers of Reddit, what’s your go-to activity to ‘look busy’ when you have no work to do?” was asked, I wanted to know how y’all hide from your boss. Here’s some of the best tips:

1. Just look frustrated.

“Just look frustrated with whatever you’re doing. Squint at your computer screen, shake your head, let out an occasional sigh, and have a bunch of papers on your desk you can rifle through periodically. You don’t want to look so frustrated that you might need some help, but if you do this right, everybody will think you’re already too busy with something to be bothered.

2. Just grab office tools and move around:

I’m a cleaner/janitor in a warehouse complex, and sometimes I would just grab a broom or a bucket and walk around. I could walk laps around the place for hours without doing anything if I wanted.”

3. Open up those internet tabs.

“My coworkers don’t really know computers like I do, and since my job is 90% on the computer, I just load up three or four Explorer windows over a random Excel spreadsheet and stare intently at it.

How to pretend to be working at work

If you’re looking for a way to get out of work, it can be tempting to fake an illness. However, this isn’t always the best idea. Not only is faking an illness dishonest, but you could also end up infecting other people. Here are the Best Illnesses to Fake for Work.

It’s also important to remember that your boss might see through your story if you don’t execute it well. Faking illnesses can be tricky business but here are some of the most effective ways to do so with little resistance from your boss.

With the cold and flu season officially here, many of us are dreaming of a day off to stay home in bed. But don’t fret! If you’ve been feeling run down or have symptoms for more than a few days, there are plenty of awesome illnesses you can fake at work!

The easiest illnesses to fake at work

  1. Allergy

Every year, millions of people knowingly or unknowingly fake an allergy to get out of work. It’s a dirty little secret that many people don’t like to talk about and understandably so. However, it’s important to be aware of the consequences and reasons why you’re not at work.

Some people are allergic to things they can’t control like dog hair, pollen, or dust. For everyone else, allergies are usually self-diagnosed (or diagnosed by someone else) and they’re usually classified as “irritants” because the person’s immune system overreacts to things that most people don’t react to.

  1. Eye disease

This is a great way to fool your boss into thinking you are sick. According to researchers, this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fake being sick at work. All you need to do is flash a fake or healed-up cornea to your boss.

Also, you can just fake getting eyelashes stuck in your eye or show your boss a photo of you with the eyelashes stuck in your eye. Even if your boss does suspect you are faking it, you can always say that your eyelashes were stuck because of whatever temperature it was that day.

  1. Diarrhoea

It’s Monday morning and the thought of going to work is crushing your soul into a million little pieces. The only reasonable solution: fake diarrhea. It sounds like a pretty easy and foolproof solution until you’re faced with the question: what do you do when you don’t have diarrhea?

Diarrhea is the sudden evacuation of liquid and semi-solid stool from the bowels at least three times within 24 hours. It’s often accompanied by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, fever, nausea, or vomiting.

  1. Stomach ache

You can fake a stomach ache. It is not difficult. You just have to think about what it would be like to have a stomach ache and then pretend that you do. You can also drink some water and use that as an excuse for why you’re feeling nauseous.

A lot of people will believe this, especially if they’re hungover and feel like they’re going to throw up anyway. You’ve either had to do this before or know someone who has. It’s never an easy thing to do, but sometimes you need to take some time off work.

  1. Asthma attack

Getting out of work is not easy. You might have to beg your boss or call in sick, but what if you don’t have the symptoms? Well, you can just fake it!

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Hold it for five seconds or more.
  • Repeat this process until your chest starts hurting and your throat feels tight.
  • Use an inhaler to make yourself cough with the use of the inhaler.
  1. Flu
  • Dress up as if it’s a cold day outside (coat, gloves).
  • Make sure your voice sounds nasally and congested.
  • Drink hot tea with honey before going into work so it makes it sound like you have a sore throat.
  • Stay home from work the next day so that hopefully people will think that was your sick day.
  1. Depression

People are always asking the question, is it possible for someone to fake depression?

Yes, it is very possible to fake depression.

It is not easy to detect the difference between a person who has depression and one who is faking it.

A lot of people do this so they can take a day off work or just because they are good at pretending they are feeling sad. Depression can be seen as an excuse for missing work or school, but there are many different reasons why you might have it.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in everyday activities. It can be difficult to know when it’s time to put yourself first. Depression is a mental disorder that can be hard to fake.

  1. Viral fever

Have you ever felt the need to fake a fever so you can stay home from work? You’re not alone. A recent study found that 31% of people have faked a fever to get out of going to work. No one wants to be sick and stuck at work, but sometimes we need to consider our health.

  1. Sinus infection

You know you’re not sick enough for a doctor’s visit, but you need something to get out of going to work. A sinus infection seems like the perfect answer! But how can you fake a sinus infection? First, drink lots of fluids such as water and hot tea.

  1. Back pain
  1. To fake back pain, the first thing you need to do is think about what muscle hurts and tense it up for a few seconds.
  2. Next, take deep breaths through your nose and then exhale out of your mouth until your body calms down from the tension.
  3. The third step in faking back pain is to use a heating pad or ice pack on the area that hurts which will help relieve some of the tension and decrease inflammation in the area.


Fake illness to get out of work or school is a common tactic because it’s an easy way to make yourself appear sick for a specific reason. For those reasons, it’s good to learn more about what diseases can be faked quickly.

Knowing more about certain diseases will give you an idea about what illnesses will be easy to fake and which ones won’t. Faking illness is great for several reasons as well, especially if you’re sick and can’t get out of work or school for the next few days.

Frequently asked questions

Question 1.) Can you fake a stomach ache?

Answer- It turns out that there are ways you can do it, but they won’t always work.

Question 2.) Is it possible for someone to fake depression?

Answer- Yes, it is very possible to fake depression.

Question 3.) How can you fake a sinus infection?

Answer- First, drink lots of fluids such as water and hot tea. Then, lie down with your head raised to help drain the sinuses

We’ve written articles about how to sneak a nap at work, how to secretly use Twitter and Facebook at work, and even how to walk into work late without anyone noticing. I suppose it only makes sense that we continue to contribute to people becoming even more unproductive at work by now featuring a video by Mr. Forthright about how to pretend you are working when you really aren’t. I know people who do this, and trust me; it’s a skill that you have to develop.

One of the classic ways to pretend you are working when you aren’t really working is to use a stressed and annoyed facial expression. If you can take a few deep breaths and shake your head a few times while looking stressed, people will definitely think you are working hard.

Mr. Forthright’s tips for how to pretend you’re working go way beyond that though. This guy is onto something. If you can incorporate all these tips into your work day, you will surely be able to fool everyone around you into believing that you are working even though you aren’t. It will probably take a little practice, and as you’ll see in the video, it might even require you to rearrange your office so your computer will be facing the right way. But after a few tries, you’ll get the hang of it.

Now that you suddenly have so much time on your hands since you won’t actually have to work, what will you do with yourself? I suppose that’s the next thing to think about. If you click over to Mr. Forthright’s YouTube channel , you’ll see a lot of other videos worth watching like…how to swim without getting wet and how to escape from a nursing home. Have fun!

Welcome to the world of work. The place where your potential will be rewarded with promotions and pay-rises. Wrong. All those boring tasks you yawned your way through during your boring unpaid internship are back. Work sucks. Fact! Here are 22 survival tips your career advisor never told you about.

1. Always carry a notebook

This makes you look busy even though you haven’t done anything all day. The office is an evil realm. The notebook is your shield.

2. Drink from a takeaway coffee cup at all times

This gives the impression that you’re much too busy to make your own hot drink. Ensure the extra shot box is ticked. Colleagues will think you’re so busy you need that extra smack of caffeine.

3. Leave half eaten Chinese food boxes around your desk

Your workspace may smell of black bean and chow mein but it will look like you’ve worked all through the night (even though you haven’t even worked through the day.)

4. Send a late night email

The more trivial the better. This shows that you’re really ‘drilling down into the granular’ of your job. Ensure your boss is copied into this email, as this shows that work is always on your mind. Your boss is the master of this technique.

5. Duplicate jackets

Buy two identical jackets and leave one hanging over your office chair. This is a worthwhile expense and gives the impression that you always work late (even though you always sneak out early.)

6. Never turn your computer off – This looks like you’re always working

Screw energy bills. You’re not paying.

7. Have a baby (sort of)

Find a random baby on the Internet and save it as your desktop wallpaper. Babies are the ultimate skiving tool. With a baby you can be late – all the time. You can have days off – all the time. And you are entitled to flexible working hours! A baby can also double as your shield.

8. Use the loo during work hours

Why poo at home when you can get paid to do it at work. Never do it during your lunch. If done strategically, one can amass a whole hour per day of sitting on the toilet. Send a trivial email from the toilet.

9. Pretend to photocopy

There’s one thing in the office that does even less work than you: the photocopier. They never work. Stand by a photocopier as if you’re waiting for a print job to eventually be spat out. Press some random buttons for effect.

Like Edward Snowden in Russia, the authorities can’t touch you when you’re stood next to a photocopier.

10. Always accessorise with a pen behind your ear

No one knows why this makes you look busy, but it does. Builders invented this technique years ago.

11. Check your phone during meetings

In the real world this would just be plain rude, but in the world of work it’s accepted as it looks like you’re multitasking (when actually you’re live tweeting how boring the meeting is.)

12. Sigh a lot

Sighing is a natural physiological reaction to stress. Looking stressed seems like you’re working hard when in fact you’re sighing because the sidebar of shame won’t load.

13. Extend your lunch for as long as physically possible

Take your lunch break the second your boss leaves their desk. Eat your lunch and surf the web. Fiddle with your fantasy football team. Sleep. Whatever. When your boss returns from their lunch break tell them you had some ‘stuff to do’ and you’re taking a late lunch. One can easily obtain a two hour lunch break everyday.

14. Never stop telling people how busy you are

“Busy!” is your default reply to anyone who asks how you’re getting on even though you’ve done nothing all day.

15. Be hungover at work

Being hungover at work means drinking Coke and eating sausage McMuffins and doing zero work all day. It’s better to be hungover at work than feeling sick at home. Home is your time! If anyone asks why you’re hungover just reply with “I’ve been so busy lately I had to let off some steam.”

16. Public transport delays are amazing

Check the Tube status first thing in the morning. If there’s a reported delay go back to bed for an hour. When you finally turn up for work simply tell your boss that whichever tube line that was delayed was yours and that’s why you’re late.

17. Turn your computer off and on repeatedly

Done regularly throughout the day one can acquire many minutes of blissful inactivity. Blame your computer’s CPU for the repeated restarts. Your boss won’t know what this is and neither will you, but it works.

18. Watch Excel tutorials on YouTube

From afar it looks like you’re creating a clever spreadsheet, whereas in reality you’re daydreaming about your gap year.