Mike Judge's film, Office Space, gives the viewer insight into the everyday struggles of the working class, through our observations of the relationships between the employer and employees, as well as through the coping mechanisms and resistance strategies utilized by employees. Relationships between the employer and employees show the hierarchies present in the workplace, rendering employees with little power. Employees thus use coping strategies to come to terms with their powerlessness, or acts of resistance to attempt to undermine the hierarchy of employment rendered necessary within a capitalist society. John Kane's "Work Sucks: A Radical Analysis of Office Space" works to illuminate the issues present within the film, using theory to argue for a radical analysis of the workplace issues presented in the film.
Office Space has a cast of characters who share resentment or hatred of their workplace, Initech. The characters vary in the ways that they choose to deal with these feelings, with some working to oppose the system itself, and others trying to work within the system to either just get by or to create change. An example of a coping mechanism that is used to tolerate the status quo is Peter's use of hypnotherapy. While hypnotherapy will not have an impact on the system itself, nor will it change the working condition for Peter, in theory, it will change the way Peter thinks about his work. In essence, this will allow him to ignore his problems, while not creating any substantial change. .
Another example of a coping mechanism that maintains the status quo is the escapism shown by Peter, Michael, and Samir in their physical exodus from the workplace to leave for a coffee break. This break is indicative of Peter's hatred of his job, but the tactic is passive and only allows him a temporary break from work in order to maintain the resolve to continue through the remainder of his day.