Do not reply to any email for 14 days: the post-lockdown workplace rules

THE prime minister has unveiled the post-lockdown rules which will allow Britain to return safely to work. Will you be able to follow them? 

Email quarantine

Scientists say the coronavirus can’t be passed on via work emails, but science is conflicted in so many areas so why take chances? Once an email arrives, move it into a special quarantine folder for 14 days before replying. Report anyone who challenges this to HR.

Never letting anyone touch your pen

Giving official government weight to what’s been office policy for years, if anyone attempts to touch your special pen or your personal mug you are now authorised simply to stand up, leave the office and refuse to come back until the offender is fired and their pension voided.

White-collar night shifts

Staggered shifts means that compliance, accounts and all the other teams that nobody gets on with will now be on the 10pm-6pm shift. And, like manual workers on nights, they will do no work at all.

Cubicles turned into opaque survival pods

Traditional office cubicles will be turned into opaque COVID-19 survival pods containing a fortnight’s food and water which can be locked from the inside. Boss demanding to know why you’re ignoring his emails? Hit the button.

Do not attempt to fix the printer

If the printer isn’t working, make no attempt to fix it yourself. It could be fizzing with virus. Either call IT to do it then hide, because come on there’s no way they’re not infected just look at them, or ask Jamie who sits next to the printer to do it then swab him down with disinfectant wipes.

Monitor any and all coughing

If anyone coughs, demand all work be ceased until they are sent home. Then demand anyone who has been within two metres of them that day be sent home, and anyone within two metres of them be quarantined, and anything any of them has touched be burned at 1,200ºC. You’re only being reasonable. You have a family.

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Are you in lockdown or a Disney princess?

IN these locked-down times it’s hard to remember whether you are a real person or an animated Disney character. Find out:

Are you animated?

A) Yes, thrillingly so, my movements smooth, dramatic and hard to tear your eyes away from

B) No. I just lie on the settee on my phone, with occasional finger-swipes and eye movements

Do you talk to animals?

A) Yes, the racoons are my friends and also super useful for story exposition! They made me this stunning ballgown!

B) Yes, because I have no-one else to talk to apart from the Ocado driver through the letterbox, and he tends to back away looking concerned

How do you feel about housework?

A) I do lots and lots, with a spring in my step and a song in my heart

B) I do the bare minimum while muttering choice obscenities under my breath

Do you need a haircut?

A) No, my long, golden locks have magical properties and birds nesting in them

b) Yes, my long, dark-rooted locks have split ends, a severe grease problem and look like a witch has cursed me

How much freedom are you allowed?

A) None – I’ve been imprisoned by someone powerful who says it’s for my own good, but I’m not always convinced by their moral integrity

b) None – I’ve been imprisoned by someone powerful who says it’s for my own good, but I’m not always convinced by their moral integrity


Mostly As: Congratulations! You’re a Disney character. Bonus points for a talking inanimate object pal, or if you’ve been cruelly separated from someone you recently met and frankly want to shag.

Mostly Bs: You’re not a Disney character. None of it will all work out right in the end, and the inanimate objects you talk to don’t talk back. But you can be gay if you like.