16 August 2006

Are you an Office G.O.S.S.I.P?

Article: Are you an Office G.O.S.S.I.P?
as originally presented in recruiting consultants Office Angels website

Revealed - what your lunchbox says about you

If you thought the Y.U.P.P.Y, the 1980’s archetypal office worker complete with red braces and brick like mobile phone was a thing of the past, think again. Young, upwardly mobile employees have merely morphed into twenty first century Office G.O.S.S.I.P.S - Gadget Obsessed, Status Symbol Infatuated Professionals.

That’s according to new research released today by Office Angels, the UK’s leading office support and secretarial recruitment consultancy. To mark their 20th Anniversary Office Angels asked more than 1,500 UK workers to identify current, essential office status symbols, and discovered that today’s ambitious worker arrives at the office armed with two mobile phones, a blackberry, an ipod, sushi for lunch, a decaff capuccino for meetings and a gym bag for a post office work-out.

From ‘Brick’ to Stick – while no self respecting 80’s Yuppy would be without a mobile phone the size of a brick, and a huge briefcase to carry it around, today big is definitely not beautiful. Almost seven out of 10 (67%) office workers say micro gadgets are the ultimate office status symbol, with the most coveted items including a Nano ipod, Blackberry, PDA and laptop memory stick

Mobile Multiplicity - and while mobiles are small, owning just one is a definite no-no. Today’s ambitious office worker must possess a minimum of two mobiles according to 45% of respondents – one dedicated to the working world and the other servicing the needs of a frantic social life.

Death of the Sandwich - posh nosh equals office success according to the to the research, with almost half of all office employees (48%) agreeing that what’s in your lunchbox sends out powerful signals about your workplace ambitions. Top of the status symbol lunch choices are sushi and sashimi (37%) followed by organic salads and superfoods like blueberries (32%). 25% say wraps with exotic fillings are the G.O.S.S.I.P.S. carb of choice, while a traditional Egg and Cress sandwich scores ‘nil points’ in the status symbol stakes (4%). And if you want to make sure you stay firmly at the bottom of the career ladder, opt for burgers and fries (0%).

Coffee Mate - Nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed admit to spending more than £10 per week on shop bought coffee - despite free facilities at work.

Health is Wealth - You can tell tomorrow’s leaders by looking at today’s health conscious workers reveals the survey. 43% of workers desperate to climb the ladder take time management seriously using the hours before work to exercise. Of those, over two thirds (76%) use the actual journey to and from work as their ‘work-out’ - be it cycling, running or simply walking to a bus stop further away.

As the brick mobile has morphed into the slim cell, office fashion and the ‘power suit’ has also seen a down size– it has become the least important symbol with just 10% of workers commenting on it. There was a time when jeans were restricted to the post boy, but now the CEO is just as likely to be wearing them, with 62% of offices adopting a dress down policy at least once a week.

Paul Jacobs, Managing Director of Office Angels, has been with the recruitment consultancy for the last twenty years. He comments: “First impressions and image are of course important, but thankfully, one of the biggest changes in the past 20 years is that substance is finally recognised as more important than style. If a latte makes you feel on-form then great, because if you feel confident you’re more likely to make an impression with what really matters - what you have to say.”

Till later, live long & prosper.

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