HR Lessons We All Need to Learn From “The Office” Web Series

3 minute read

Must read

Exploring the Future of Business With OpenText

Download this white paper to gain insight into exploring the future of business with OpenText.

Focus on the Vulnerabilities That Pose the Greatest Risk

According to Gartner, organizations that use the risk-based vulnerability management method will suffer 80% fewer breaches by 2022. 

Actionable Steps to Develop a Digital Product Vision for Your Organization

Understand the strategy and actionable steps needed to develop a digital product vision from scratch to execution.

Combat Cybersecurity Threats with Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

Risk-based vulnerability management helps you cut through the immense volume of vulnerabilities and protect against increasing cybersecurity threats.  
Suraj Jaiswal
Suraj is a passionate blogger who writes for a global audience. His writings can be inspired from a myriad of topics to anything distinguishable that keeps a reader hooked. He has written for many websites and also been showcased as a guest author. Suraj lives in India right now.

If you have watched the popular TV series “The Office,” a parody on corporate and office life, you’d know who we are talking about – Toby. Toby Flenderson, from the human resources, is intensely despised, loathed and often the target of abuse. The portrayal may seem utterly funny to all, except people who are real-life HRs. 

The show also gives insights into the life of a human resources manager and how difficult it actually gets – but in a comic way. Either way, there are great HR lessons we all can learn and incorporate that will make both our lives a little easier. 

A little about the TV show first

An American TV series, “The Office”, depicts the everyday work lives of one of the branches of Dunder Mifflin, a fictional paper company. The show was distributed by NBC.

The show’s central character is the boss of the company, Michael Scott, who is the regional manager of Scranton, the Pennsylvania branch of Dunder Mifflin. 

Scott is portrayed as a self-established funny boss who attempts at humor, but almost always ends up offending and annoying his employees, peers, and even superiors. 

ALSO READ: Role of Non-Humans in Human Resources

Back to our story. 

The portrayal of the human resources representative in the show is a silent expression of the profession in general. Even the most savvy employees in great workplaces reprimand HRs and their roles. The social stigma has certainly gone to great extents, a proof of which is creating a character like Toby.

Let’s dive into some of the instances of the story that have HR lessons for all of us to learn. 

Standing up for the HR

Although everyone in the office likes Toby, nobody ever stands up for him when Michael insults him. 

Our HR managers don’t sit next to us, but that doesn’t make them unfriendly. Standing up for them – just like you would for your team members during turbulent times – may help you closely understand the person beneath the fabric of authority. 

A dirty joke is a dirty joke

Remember the episode from the 2nd season when Todd Packer – Michael’s BFF – offends the staff with remarks about the upper management scandal? What follows is Toby announcing a sexual harassment policy review session for the entire staff. 

Our HRs can’t take dirty jokes, which often ends up into bringing the whole workforce together for a lesson or seminar on sexual harassment policies. Yes, that’s true. 

However, we must understand the value of professionalism in a work environment. The thin line between personal and professional is what keeps us best at work. And, maintaining that fragile virtual boundary is more difficult than you can imagine. 


Handling inter-office complaints

The episode of “Conflict Resolution” shows Toby filing Dwight’s complaints in a trash box and storing them into the warehouse. 

It is the duty of HR to not make mountains out of a molehill. Similarly, it is the duty of ourselves to act responsibly instead of seeking HR’s help when we can solve it between us. 

Learn and incorporate these HR lessons and show them the love they deserve.

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

5 Reasons AI will Take Over HR Operations in Near Future

Will AI take over HR operations in the near future? Here are 5 reasons to consider.

5 HR Leadership Development Programs for 2022

Read to know about 5 of the best HR leadership programs that are essential for the growth of HR professionals.  

8 Best Work Management Software to Get Things Done Quickly

There is a plethora of work management software out there. Here are the 8 best ones to get things done quickly!  

7 Employee Retention Strategies to Prevent “The Great Resignation”

Here is a list of 7 effective employee retention strategies that will help you re-engage and keep your top performers.

Nurturing Human Connections in a Hybrid World

There are several strategies and tips out there about how to make the best of hybrid working.