TikTok Users Have Deconstructed Workplace Culture. Hint: They Hate Dell Laptops


I’m warming up to TikTok.

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Honestly, it took me a minute. The problem is that, by default, without subscribing to channels when you first use the app and mindlessly flicking through short videos, TikTok will show “popular” content only that is often inappropriate or edgy. It’s a bunch of junk by default.

Diving deeper, there’s a wealth of intelligent, savvy videos meant for people who don’t like to watch cars slipping off the edge of a road in winter or dancing teenagers.

Recently, a company called Officeology shared links to videos meant to deconstruct the modern office. I don’t agree with all of them, but a few are entertaining and spot on. They made me think about the state of workplace culture, which is not always a happy place.

For example, one TikTok user makes a valid point about making phone calls. The video has around 13,000 comments so far, mostly from introverts (like me) commiserating with what it’s like to call people these days when there are so many other valid options, like texting. Or Slack. Or send another text.

Another video mentions how there are certain laptops employers give out to new workers that make a statement. Dell at the bottom, Apple at the top. I happen to disagree with this one, because Dell laptops have always performed quite well for me. But I do understand the main point — that employers should think through what they are really saying to workers when they provide a company-issued device.

“It’s great that Gen Z’s are educating each other on the red flags to look out for in the workplace,” says Adam Butler, the Founder and CEO of Officeology. “However, I don’t think the specific devices used need to be a cause for concern.”

One TikTok video Officeology shared is hilarious. It talks about the sound we make in the office when we are trying to figure out a button on Zoom or how to share our screen. He nailed it. I’m not even sure why we make that sound, or why it’s sometimes difficult to find an option on the screen every time we do a call, other than blaming a lack of coffee or stress.

Office culture has obviously changed dramatically after going through a worldwide pandemic. It feels like the stress of it all has made us analyze the office even more. We’re ever vigilant about mild irritants, maybe as a way to cope.

Another TikTok user shared how annoying it is when people type up long novels on Slack and other apps like Microsoft Teams when a simple response would suffice. This TikTok video mentions how Friday meetings are the worst. I’m right there with you on that one, Kellyn Mcmullan. Great insight. I prefer no-meeting Fridays.

And, I get it. We’re stressed. The office now feels like a place where we have so many apps to use, so many distractions, and so many remote work scenarios that our brains can’t handle the constant deluge. I wrote about this in my recent book. Things that matter the most, like important decisions and strategies to consider, take time to develop in our minds. We need the space and the time to ruminate on them, and our modern office environment is not conducive to that.

Let me get real here, too. I think distractions are getting worse. I’m clicking, typing, and tapping constantly like everyone else. It’s a frantic burst of computer gibberish on some days. I need to set aside time to think, to write in a journal about my plans for the day or think through a problem. The results are much better.

We all created the modern office. It’s nice to know these TikTok users are deconstructing it, even as the dings and pings get worse. I hope the lessons we learn about how to behave in this frantic environment leads us to a better place to work. I might even do my own TikTok video someday if it doesn’t change soon.



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