There will be no Party Planning Committee because there will be no parties. Kevin won’t spill his famous chili because he won’t be allowed to bring it to begin with. And all those meetings in the Dunder Mifflin conference room in Scranton? They’re not happening, either. (Hey, it’s not all bad.)
Nobody could have known when The Office signed off in 2013 that seven years later, it would look more like a documentary about the “before times” than a relatable slice of everyday work life. But that’s where office life is in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions: shut down, mostly. And that makes The Office more of a relic than a depiction of a familiar atmosphere.
Sure, some real-life offices never closed, and some have reopened. But with the virus still causing problems in the US, most office workers are working at home. Those who aren’t are facing a different in-person reality, where the chaotic scenes depicting mischief, mayhem and fun in The Office simply aren’t possible anymore.
Requirements mandated by the Centers for Disease Control (put in place to enforce social distancing and make workplaces safer for employees) have put a stop to a lot of what Michael, Jim, Pam and Dwight experienced in Scranton. Limits on the number of people in a room at a time have put an end to both meetings and parties in conference rooms. And some of those famous scenes from the show—the basketball game, the Finer Things club, Jim’s endless pranks targeting Dwight, even Michael and Dwight’s accidental plunge into the Scranton River—would look entirely different through a social-distancing lens.
So, why bother to go to work at all if there’s no real interaction, no collaboration—and no fun—possible there? There’s no reason to. The safest thing to do now is keep everybody at home—and in the cloud. With the cloud, employees can collaborate securely in the same applications, such as QuickBooks Desktop, at the same time from anywhere.
Want to relive some of the finest moments from the show’s run and find out more about why the office might never be like The Office again? Download this illustrated eBook—and feel free to stock a printer with Dunder Mifflin paper and print it, too.
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