Skip to main content

The Living Dead: Switched Off, Zoned Out - The Shocking Truth About Office Life

The Living Dead: Switched Off, Zoned Out - The Shocking Truth About Office Life

David Bolchover

ISBN: 978-1-841-12656-2

Oct 2005, Capstone

160 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



Switch on the business news and you will probably be bombarded with yet more workplace experts telling you that everyone nowadays is grossly overworked, madly juggling their work-life balance until they finally keel over and die from the sheer stress of it all. We all know that's right, don't we?

The real truth is that there are millions upon millions of people who are actively disengaged from their jobs, who spend months and years sitting in offices doing next to nothing, lost in the cracks of laughably inefficient and abysmally managed large organisations, their talents wasted and long forgotten. The Living Dead unmasks the myth of the workplace for the first time. It tells the truth. Not cloaked in humour, as in Dilbert and The Office, but in plain black and white.

The Living Dead will captivate anyone anywhere in the world who has ever worked in a large office environment, or those who have a genuine desire to make people's working lives more productive and enjoyable.

Here are some astonishing statistics about office life you probably never knew:

  • 40 per cent of all casual drugs users in the US (people who use drugs just once a month) still choose to do it at work. 19.6 per cent of people who take drugs at work do so at their workstation.
  • One in three mid-week visitors to the theme park Alton Towers has taken the day off work on a dishonest pretext.
  • One in five US workers has had sex with a co-worker during work hours. Full sex, that is. 44 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women have had at least some sexual contact at work.
  • One third of UK young professionals are hungover at least twice a week on working days. Two thirds admitted to having called in sick due to alcohol at least once in the previous month.
  • 70 per cent of Internet porn sites are accessed during the 9 to 5 working day.
  • More than half of the UK's 14.5 million pet owners say they would need between two and five days off work to grieve for a dead pet, while 10 per cent said they would need as much as two weeks.
  • Monday (23 per cent) and Friday (25 per cent) are the days most commonly taken off sick by UK employees. Wednesday is the most rarely taken (8 per cent).
  • UK doctors receive 9 million 'suspicious' or 'questionable' requests each year for sick notes.
David Bolchover writes frequently on business and management issues for The Times and The Sunday Times as well as a number of other national newspapers and specialist publications. His first book, The 90-Minute Manager, outlines the lessons which business managers can learn from football managers. Previously, he was employed for several years in a large office. But now he wants to do something with his life.

Chapter 1. Unearthing the Last Taboo

Chapter 2. My Life in the Cracks.

Chapter 3. Money for Nothing.

Chapter 4. The Quest for Meaning.

Chapter 5. The Whole Truth, and Nothing But.

Chapter 6. The Invisible Manager.

Chapter 7. Autopsy and Resurrection.

Chapter 8. The End of the Corporate Monolith?.

Epilogue: The Kiss of Life.


"...will captivate anyone anywhere in the world who has ever worked in a large office..."(, 4th October 05)
"...The Living Dead will captivate anyone anywhere in the world who has ever worked in a large office environment..." (Swindon Advertiser, 4th October 2005)

"...Even if you are not one of the living dead, you will find this book fascinating, entertaining and thought-provoking..." (Reading Chronicle, 9th December 2005)

" interesting and unusual read..." (Professional Manager, January 2006)

"Fantastic book...which wittily debunks popular myths about the modern workplace..." (EN Magazine, Dec 05)

" interesting and unusual read..." (Professional Manager, Jan 2006)

"...a fascinating discussion of the perils of presenteeism..." (ISCO Careerscope, Spring 06)

"…a lovely waltz through what happens to us after we exit university…it makes fantastic reading…" (IET Engineering Management, August 2006)

"...wry British students of organisational behaviour and anyone who has ever played computer solitaire at the office." (getAbstract, August 2006)

"... explores the phenomenon of The Living Dead in an open, direct and serious way ..." (Business Executive, November 2006)

'…open, direct and serious…with sufficient humour…' ( Business Executive, November 2006)