Doodling at Work: Laws on Artistic Expression in Work

A large cartoon doodle
Oodles of doodles.

As an employer, you may find some of your employees procrastinate and waste precious time doing stupid things. One such example is doodling.

As with chewing gum at work, it’s a mindless activity that can have serious repercussions for your business.

It’s important to remind them your workplace isn’t a place for creativity. It is, instead, a creativity vacuum where the same monotonous, stifling tasks should drum any sort of imaginative spark from their very soul.

Our guide will ensure your business remains doodle free and on track to earn record profits for you to hoard for yourself.

Workplace Doodling: A Guide to Stopping Fun

The Doodling at Work Act 1972 determines what does, and doesn’t, represent a workplace-based doodle. It defines doodling as:

“Any employee who takes pen, or pencil, to paper to create absent-minded artistic creations instead of completing the role they’re employed to do.

For example, instead of working on an important project an employee may become transfixed with drawing something like a giant puppy going on a licking frenzy across a city of giant talking haddocks. They may title this work Haddock Zone and be really, really proud of their creation and feel a little smug inside.

However, the result of their two hour doodling session is that important project remains unfinished. They cannot present Haddock Zone to the CEO at the meeting the next day, for it is unrelated to their role as an employee in your organization.

Imagine if your CEO was presented with the doodle instead of the project. He/she would be rightly furious about the lack of finished business work, no matter the quality of the doodle in question. Yes, that’s even if it’s really great doodle. He/she will still be angry.”

As such, it’s best to avoid workplace doodling to keep work flow on track and your organization churning over.

Central to this mission is tackling one of the worst threats to your working environment, which we detail below.

Oodles and Noodles in the Workplace

As Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Japanese noodle adverts proved in the early 1990s, work isn’t a place for oodles of noodles.

In fact, the worst case scenario your business can endure is a doodling employee who enjoys noodles for their lunch.

This sort of staff member is difficult to remould. They’re so lost to society even months of disciplinary hearings wouldn’t snap them out of their oodle-based infatuations.

Under the Doodling at Work Act 1972 and Eating Noodles at Work Act 1984, it’s illegal for you to fire an individual for combining noodles with doodles.

Your only opportunity is to wait until the employee starts adding their doodles into their noodles and eating them together.

Once this depraved cooking lesson occurs, you’re free to dismiss the offending staff member on the spot for gross misconduct.

However, before they leave your premises, by law they’re free to first finish their noodle-based meal.

It’s been known that some employees exploit this loophole by not finishing their meal in order to remain on as an employee.

With even one noodle remaining on their plate, the individual is protected under the Eating Noodles at Work Act 1984. 

And you may have to endure many months (or even years) of waiting for the employee to finish that one remaining noodle. At which time you’re free to dismiss them.

However, you must continue paying them their full wage up until the moment the final noodle is consumed and you may only end their contract of employment once the noodle is excreted from the employee’s body.

As they’re leaving the premises, they should also take all of their doodles with them so as not to inspire other time-wasting employees.

Instigating a Workplace Doodling Policy

To stop all workplace doodling, you need an effective policy to strike the fear of instant dismissal into your pathetic employees.

This should be draconian to the extreme and leave no one with any impressions other than: “I really shouldn’t doodle today.”

As such, you should aim to include in your policy stuff such as:

  • Why you’ve banned doodling.
    • For example, it wastes company time, causes RSI, and these bursts of idle creativity may encourage staff into too much freethinking.
  • Your reason for banning noodles (as the word may remind employees of the joys of doodling).
  • The punishment measures you have in place for punishing anyone caught doodling. Such as:
    • A verbal warning.
    • A written warning.
    • Disciplinary action.
    • Instant dismissal.
    • A punch to the face.
    • Hobbling with a steel sledgehammer.
    • Hanging, drawing, and quartering.
  • Your reasons for keeping all pens, pencils, and paper padlocked in a cupboard aware from all employees.

With such a stance on doodling, you should soon cut down on all artistic practices in and around your premises.

Your Plan of Action in the Event of a Doodling Rebellion

Do note, some employees may rebel against your policy like some dismal version of that Braveheart film.

You may find them taking the stance of, “They may take our art, but they’ll never take… our colouring in books!!!”

Such stirring and impassioned speeches must not be tolerated in your business.

Instruct managers to immediately hobble any employees who feel the need to have a “Braveheart moment”.

You’ll find that after the uproarious response such a speech receives from their colleagues, much cowering will follow the moment after a manager clobbers the rebellious fiend’s ankles with a sledgehammer.

Such an action will quell a doodle-based uprising and will see employees returning obediently to their desks for more mindless drudgery.

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