A report by the Institute for Business Productivity (IBP) reveals that UK office workers spend an average of fifteen hours a month watching ‘Oddly Satisfying’ YouTube clips.
The videos, which have titles like ‘The Most Satisfying Factory Machines Doing Their Jobs’ and ‘10 Oddly Satisfying Sweat Shop Tasks with a Liquid Drum & Bass Sound Track’, feature people or machines carrying out repetitive and utterly mundane tasks to relaxing music.
The IBP research shows that UK employees, with comfortable middle-class jobs, waste thousands of hours a year watching Third World workers operating the type of machines that even Victorian mill owners would have raised health and safety concerns over.
Liz Evans, a mid-level manager with responsibility for organising meetings with no agenda, told us.
“It’s the stress. I work in a fast-paced city job, and sometimes you just need to chill out between coffee breaks.
“Without taking thirty minutes to watch hot ABS resin being stamped into iPhone cases to a soundtrack of chilled out house, I think I’d go insane.
“Sometimes I wonder if I should pack it all in and move to the Philippines or wherever so I could watch paperclips being made all day.”
Nguyen Dahn, star of ‘The Most Oddly Satisfying Fourteen Hour Shift Packing Toilet Roll Holders’, says he can see the appeal.
“On a long double shift when it’s really hot and you’re not allowed a bathroom break the noise of the machines can really send you into a trance-like state,” Dahn says.
“Of course, then you lose a finger or hand or something and that tends to wake you up pretty sharpish.”