The Idiot’s guide to…… Looking busy!

When you bill per the hour, looking busy is of paramount importance… The criticality of this black art is never more obvious than when you sit in full view of the Oga and can ill afford to be found playing solitaire, surfing the internet mindlessly, blogging, or God help you – being nabbed on ogling the goodies on offer on Page 3. Below are the top tips I have gleaned from the best – trust me I’ve learned from the very best – a stellar cast of international pedigree..

  • Grab a cup of coffee every twenty minutes – nothing gives the impression that you are seriously at work than a steaming cup of coffee.. And that knotted brow that seems to convey intense concentration.
  • Have multiple spreadsheets open complete with loads of exotic graphs and illegible legends – as long as the boss doesn’t get too intrigued by the data, you’ll be fine.
  • Stop at the intern’s desk a few times: It helps that it feels like summer, it’s a Friday and the average distance between her neckline and her hemline is tending to zero… Being seen around the intern adds credibility to your mentoring credentials.. Plus its a lot less risky than being c aught on Page 3..
  • Occasionally lean back in your chair , place your hands around your neck and pretend to crack a thorny problem – insert some muttering too – it’s an occupational hazard for the thinking man and adds to the aura of intensity around you.
  • Get on the phone to a client – pick the bloke you know is an absolute laze-r and engage in some serious discussion. Speak in hushed tones though and appear to be fine-tuning a strategy together. No one (aside of snooping IT smart alecs) will know that the discussion was centred around what  club to hit at 5.30pm.
  • The ultimate joker? Talk to the boss – chances are that he was on a game of solitaire also….