Why do people assume everyone works in an office

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Joe90
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20 Sep 2021, 9:49 pm

Often when I want to get tips about the workplace or something, the results in Google always use an office environment as a blanket example to all or any job out there. That, or other people online who don't know you, but know you have a job, assume or imagine you work in an office.
I've never worked in an office environment, I've always been in cleaning jobs, which is sometimes hard to compare to office jobs. Or if people know you're a cleaner they still assume or imagine you're cleaning an office.

I've never had a job that involves a desk, a computer, presentations, etc. My jobs have always involved buckets, mops, brushes, litter, etc. And I don't even know many people who actually work in an office; most people I know work in retail or factory or beauty salons or carpentry or driving vehicles or whatever. Almost rarely office work.

So what is it about office jobs? Why do people picture an office environment (desks and computers) whenever you talk about work to people online? Office jobs are fairly new and haven't been around for as long as factory jobs or cleaning jobs or carpentry or whatever.


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funeralxempire
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20 Sep 2021, 9:59 pm

Isn't the older version of this trope assuming everyone works in a factory? :nerdy:



badRobot
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21 Sep 2021, 6:07 am

"Online survey showed that 100% of population use Internet"

Even though office work is relatively new, this is what almost 100% of regular internet users did until like 5 years ago.

For hundreds people working at an average office building there might be one cleaning person. For hundreds or thousands people commuting on a given bus to their desk jobs there is one you cleaning this bus every night.

So it is perfectly reasonable that if google has to guess, it will guess "work" means "office".



naturalplastic
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21 Sep 2021, 6:38 am

badRobot wrote:
"Online survey showed that 100% of population use Internet"

Even though office work is relatively new, this is what almost 100% of regular internet users did until like 5 years ago.

For hundreds people working at an average office building there might be one cleaning person. For hundreds or thousands people commuting on a given bus to their desk jobs there is one you cleaning this bus every night.

So it is perfectly reasonable that if google has to guess, it will guess "work" means "office".


This is retarded. Probably half of the folks who commute to work on buses are janitors and maids. White collar workers drive to work in cars. And its not just office vs cleaners. Its office vs cleaning vs factory vs farm vs construction vs inventory counters vs warehouse workers, vs law enforcement vs fishing for crabs, vs everything else.



badRobot
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21 Sep 2021, 8:07 am

naturalplastic wrote:
This is retarded. Probably half of the folks who commute to work on buses are janitors and maids. White collar workers drive to work in cars.


Only in s**thole small industrial towns.



kraftiekortie
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21 Sep 2021, 8:31 am

When I ride the subway at night, at least 1/3 of the passengers are office cleaners who work nights.

I'm one of the relatively few "office workers" who work nights.



mohsart
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21 Sep 2021, 9:17 am

Well, I suspect that most workers needs some office time. Reporting their work hours, taking care of bills etc.

/Mats


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21 Sep 2021, 9:31 am

Well, being able to work from an office has increased rapidly during the last... 20? 30? years, and is now very common. There's also the fact that lots of lines of work have some kind of office workers, so it's kind of a common ground. Plus, even people who mainly do none-computer stuff (nurses, cashiers etc.) often still have some paperwork to do, which is often done on a computer. Giving examples on how to do things in a work environment through office examples obviously can't cover all the bases, but those are the kind of examples that can cover the most.

Quote:
This is retarded. Probably half of the folks who commute to work on buses are janitors and maids. White collar workers drive to work in cars. And its not just office vs cleaners. Its office vs cleaning vs factory vs farm vs construction vs inventory counters vs warehouse workers, vs law enforcement vs fishing for crabs, vs everything else.


Probably depends a lot on where one's from and where they work. At my old job, which was near the city center, people who didn't have their very own parking space given by the job avoided coming by car if they could because parking tickets were expensive plus sometimes one had to leave their car more than a kilometre away from the work place.

Also, lots of people here who use the bus are office workers, because we have regular 8-16 hours far more often than blue collar workers, who're likelier to have very early morning, evening and night shifts, which are likely to not match with bus schedules. So, here a car is often a must for most other than the office workers with regular work hours.



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21 Sep 2021, 9:37 am

naturalplastic wrote:
... Probably half of the folks who commute to work on buses are janitors and maids. White collar workers drive to work in cars. And its not just office vs cleaners. Its office vs cleaning vs factory vs farm vs construction vs inventory counters vs warehouse workers, vs law enforcement vs fishing for crabs, vs. everything else.
While this may be true, consider how difficult it might be to respond to an Internet survey while operating a floor buffer, a mill stamp, a combine harvester, a skip-loader, a package scanner, a forklift, a patrol car, a pot hoist, or any other system that requires your full attention to do effectively (and safely).

It may be safe to say that most people who would respond to an Internet survey while at work, do so from an office/cubicle environment.



mohsart
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21 Sep 2021, 9:50 am

True, but it's not easy to stop programming and turn to an internet survey, and then go back.

/Mats


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Fnord
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21 Sep 2021, 9:52 am

mohsart wrote:
True, but it's not easy to stop programming and turn to an internet survey, and then go back.
#include <iostream>

int main() {
std::cout << "Oh, really?";
return 0;
}



mohsart
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21 Sep 2021, 11:32 am

I guess it depends. If you're just a code monkey a bit of distraction won't disturb you much.

/Mats


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badRobot
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21 Sep 2021, 12:53 pm

mohsart wrote:
True, but it's not easy to stop programming and turn to an internet survey, and then go back.

/Mats

But when you can't concentrate and get into a flow or bored out of your mind, or struggle with procrastination you still stuck at your "workplace", which is an internet-connected workstation. This is why people are looking for tips related to keywords "workplace", like "how to concentrate in a busy workplace", "how to deal with annoying coworkers" and stuff. These people take surveys and quizzes to pass time. This is what 99% of target audience of these articles was when internet took off for general public and to a huge extent this is a target audience of majority of platforms today.



mohsart
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22 Sep 2021, 10:58 am

I don't really see the difference.
I've worked both on the floor and in offices, currently kind of a mix of the two.

Anyways, my point was that everybody nowadays needs to be able to to some office work. Handle bills, do time reports, report driving, whatever.

Not everybody needs to know how to drive a nail, how to swig a swab, how to do whatever handiworkers do.

/Mats


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22 Sep 2021, 1:46 pm

^ True. Even if one doesn't do them for their job, which is still possible for some, pretty much every independent adult has to handle things like that (bills, checking taxes etc.), unless they go directly from being taken care of by parents to being taken care of by a spouse or something.



Dial1194
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23 Sep 2021, 3:11 pm

People who want to spend their free time look at computer or phone screens and talking about their jobs are more likely, at least traditionally, to have white-collar jobs. (And not ones where the focus is on interacting with other people.) It's becoming a little blurrier more recently with the rise in smartphones, but even then people who work with their hands tend to have fewer hours free to surf and chat when they're 'on the clock'.

The assumption that everyone works in an office is one which is thus _massively_ over-exaggerated on the internet, so if you're using the internet as a resource, you're going to encounter that bias.