BLR News


Workplace Movies

Old Saybrook, CT. - January 31, 2006--When it comes to workplace movies, “Office Space” is the talk of the water cooler, but “Nine to Five” still has a solid fan base 25 years after its release, according to a recent poll of human resources professionals.

Given a list of five workplace-themed movies and asked to select their favorite, the 438 poll participants responded as follows:

“Office Space” – 37 percent
“Nine to Five” – 30 percent
“Working Girl” – 20 percent
“Wall Street” – 12 percent
“Clockwatchers” – 1 percent

“Office Space,” is a comedy about company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss.

“Like ‘Nine to Five,’ ‘Office Space’ was about workers who rebelled against their greedy, soulless employer. It resonates with a lot of disgruntled cubicle dwellers,” said Chris Ceplenski, editor. “But considering that ‘Nine to Five’ is almost 20 years older, its popularity suggests that workplaces really haven’t come all that far.”

“Nine to Five,” starring Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda, was remarkably prescient about workplace changes. When the movie was released in 1980, female employees were still called "girls" and had a very low glass ceiling. In the film, Violet (Tomlin) toils for a male boss, Mr. Hart (Coleman), whom she had initially trained, but who was promoted over her.

Hart makes Violet get his coffee. She watches as a worker is fired for asking to go part-time so she can take care of her children. The overworked, underappreciated workers feel they have no one to complain to.

After a series of far-fetched events Violet takes over the office and puts her plan of improvements into practice.

The "Nine to Five" of the movie’s title becomes a thing of the past as flextime becomes the rule. Among other heartwarming reforms, hiring disabled workers and job sharing get instituted. “Nine to Five” and its workplace implications are explored in an article, “'Nine to Five' Turns 25--What's Changed in the Workplace?” that is making available at:

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BLR: Chris Ceplenski