5 best shows about work that everyone can relate to

May 20, 2022

Most of us consume TV to escape the everyday grind, yet some of the best shows streaming right now are about office life, the future of work, and work life balance. These unique stories are not just set in the workplace, they also do a great job of explaining what work is really like for most people. Check out these unique, smart, and hilarious shows that explore the humanity of work. 

Severance

If you’ve worked a day in your life, you have likely heard the adage ‘leave your personal life at home.’ But, can we truly separate work and life? AppleTV’s Severance is a dystopian dramedy based on answering that question.  

Mark, played by Adam Scott, undergoes an experimental surgical procedure, separating his work and life memories, to help him forget about the death of his wife during the workday. Using metaphor to reveal silly, antiquated corporate rules that otherwise feel ingrained in our learned behavior, Severance is a mind-bending show that will make you rethink how you’re coexisting in those two worlds: work and life. 

Written with meticulous depth and detail, Severance is a unicorn, striking the perfect balance of entertainment, introspection, and comedy. 

Related article: Work-life balance, evolved 

Photo Credit IMDB | No copyright infringement is intended.

Human Resources 

Human Resources is an animated (albeit NSFW) comedy about monsters in the workplace. Sound scary? It’s actually more mindful than you think.  

A spin-off of the popular Netflix show, Big Mouth, the monsters in Human Resources each represent an emotion that drives behavior. There are hormone monsters, hate worms, love bugs, depression kitties, shame wizards, anxiety mosquitos—the list goes on. 

Where there’s deep human feeling, you’ll find it represented in this smart, wildly inappropriate, and hilarious world. Within Human Resources, the monsters are working together, and separately, to reach their performance goals of scaring, helping, intimidating, and supporting humanity, all within the confines of office life. 

Related article: 7 inspiring quotes from HR leaders about the future of work 

Photo Credit IMDB | No copyright infringement is intended.

Workin’ Moms 

When a group of new moms, all from varying backgrounds and perspectives, befriend one another at a mommy & me class, there’s a lot of fun drama to unpack.  

Netflix’s Workin’ Moms follows four women, each character with their own unique but relatable scenarios that women may find themselves trying to navigate as new moms. Workin’ Moms resonates with so many because not only is it laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it’s also brutally honest and poignant.  

There’s an overarching dramatic storyline that carries throughout the show, but the hijinks on each episode touch on managing work life, identity, mental health, relationships, infidelity, motherhood, and so much more. 

Related article: The evolution of the hybrid work model 

Photo Credit IMDB | No copyright infringement is intended.

Mythic Quest 

Apple TV’s Mythic Quest is a lot like The Office, if The Office was full of ego-centric maniacs and instead of paper, Dunder Mifflin sold video games.  

From the creative minds behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest is centered on a game studio and its rag tag crew of extremely problematic, yet somehow endearing coworkers—the overachieving lead engineer, Poppy Li, the narcissistic creative director, Ian Grimm, the neurotic executive producer, David Brittlesbee and many more love-to-hate, hate-to-love characters.  

As difficult and hilarious as these humans are, their personalities are really a hyperbolic representation that, despite various life circumstances, employees work best together when we are honest with ourselves and others. Particularly moving was their special episode about COVID-19, where they tackle the very real mental health struggles facing those who feel extremely isolated from remote working. 

Related article: Stop maintaining your company culture and start reinventing it 

Photo Credit IMDB | No copyright infringement is intended.

Superstore 

Superstore, streamed on NBC & Hulu, is a sitcom about employees working at a Walmart-esque big box retailer, called Cloud 9. The show pulls back the curtain on a branch of a corporate giant, run by employees from various backgrounds and perspectives.  

Superstore appears to be a light-hearted workplace comedy, but it tackles some of the most important topics of our company culture including maternity leave, job security, mental health, and discrimination. The show’s ensemble becomes a dysfunctional family, blending and re-defining work-life balance, which feels a lot like the future of work. 

Related article: How to increase employee retention: 4 ways to avoid attrition rates 

Photo Credit IMDB | No copyright infringement is intended.

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