Defending your Office or Workplace from Zombies

With the zombie flick World War Zfeaturing Brad Pitt, released last Friday  we thought it would be a good idea to advise Rainbow Zebra fans how to deal with a zombie apocalypse to protect and defend their offices in the event of the undead wanting a one to one (but not necessarily over coffee).

Before you set out about defending your office from Zombies, we strongly suggest you check out the WWZ film trailer shown above to get a flavour of what could happen in an apocalyptic undead-infested outbreak!


Why an Office Scenario?

Seeing as most of us work long hours for a living it is unlikely you will find yourself at or even close to home with a sudden outbreak. One minute you are talking up your best ever sales presentation to the boss, the next you’re looking to stop the zombies from messing up your desk and eating the office receptionist's brains.

Zombie breaking through office door

The 1st Rule in a Zombie Outbreak is YOUR Survival

Yes, we know you’re gonna worry about the kids/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/mum/dad etc (hopefully you will) but for now all other survival tasks take priority so rushing home won’t help. In any case you’ll end up stuck in traffic making you a quick easy meal for a hungry, voracious zombie. So stay put (pretty much what the authorities will tell you), make that phone call or text home - but face facts the phone network will likely be overwhelmed. If you can get a phone call through, then promise them you’ll get back home when things quieten down. Then get busy hunkering down and out of sight.

Remember life isn’t like the movies for most of us, so think realistically at "going all out" at being a hero. If you don’t have any combat/streetfighting skills or experience your first action is to hide and evade from the plague of zombies roaming around outdoors.

Zombie Walk 2012 - SP by Grmisiti, on Flickr
Zombie Walk 2012 - SP by Grmisiti, on Flickr

Get Your FREE Zombie at Work Defence Plan from Rainbow Zebra!

We like the idea of a having a “Zombies at Work” Defence Plan and Strategy which would consist of the following:

  1.  Prevent Zombie Access to the Office
  2. Containment and Slowing Down advancing Zombies who gain access
  3. Eventual Withdrawal, Evacuation and Retreat from Zombie Infested Workplace


A Strategy to Prevent Zombies from Getting into your Office

With likely very little notice from an apocalyptic extinction event you will only have a short amount of time to block doorways and windows, so use whatever comes to hand that’s bulky, heavyweight and large. Your efforts may hold off one or two zombies for a while but if it’s a zombie horde pushing at the door they won’t take long to smash their way through so think carefully about what you choose.

Objects you might want to consider to help with surviving at the office:

  • Fire Extinguishers (also useful for spraying carbon dioxide into a zombies face to confuse it and hide yourself from attack)
  • Office Bookcases
  • Coat Stands (you may be able to jam them between a door and wall to help hold zombies back)
  • Office Photocopier  - hey it breaks down half the time anyway so you as may well put it to better use!
  • Office Cupboards
  • Office Fridges
  • Water Coolers

If you can gain access outside your office without the risk of zombies spotting you then gather cars or better trucks and vans and block off the main doors. Drive up and park ACROSS the main doorway, as close as possible – don’t worry about the mirror. Open the passenger window and crawl through (you’ll want the vehicle close enough not to be able to open the door as it creates a gap for more zombies to fill).

This Zombie is at the office door, what you going to do now?

Zombies are stupid creatures so it is unlikely they can open a car door, they may however try to smash windows with their fists so this is a great way to slow them down.

A van or truck being bigger will obviously block a larger set of doors, certainly useful for bigger offices with glass front doors. If you haven’t got a van or truck and things are really desperate look to borrow one from the firm next door if possible. Yes you know what we mean...

Once back inside you’ll need to lock the door behind you, sounds obvious but many people won’t remember to do this and a zombie *may* have some recall on how to use a handle to open an unlocked door (unlikely but please don’t take the chance).

Remember you won’t be able to hole-up forever at work – your job here is to only slow the zombies down so leave one door (a side door that you think won’t attract too much attention) locked but not blocked. Ensure you have the room and the means to reach it in a hurry. Keep someone posted out of sight to advise any moment that zombies target your escape route (you’ll have to evacuate faster than ever).

When it comes to windows, close the blinds, zombies smell human flesh better than they can see it but don’t under-estimate their sight. Keep windows closed and locked too, even if it is the midst of summer. It is unlikely you will have wooden 2 x 4’s available to block up windows to give greater security so turn desks over, turn them long-ways and then position in front of windows. Then push more desks up against the 1st desk to block the window in a bid to keep the undead hordes back.

Remember you are buying time, I mean who wants to spend their whole time at the office anyway?!

Remain unseen but carrying out observation is key so keep yourself a field of vision, though do sit back from the actual window itself to prevent yourself being grabbed and torn apart if the zombies do smash their way through. If possible learn the hand signals below (you’ll need to give your team a very quick lesson) so you can communicate silently – zombies also hear and their wailing moans will attract other zombies to you so keep all noise to a minimum. If someone is screaming it will attract unwanted attention so make sure everyone knows to keep silent.

Your best bet is to use hand signals - check out this great site for more details:

Hand Signals for communicating silently so as not to attract attention from zombies

Image courtesy of

You’ll need to communicate to the others how many zombies approximately you will have to contain and handle and you will be best to do this silently. It is important to learn these signals at the very least:

  • Stop (easy one this)
  • Hurry Up (certainly for the staff that are panicking, get them moving and onto tasks to focus their nerves elsewhere),
  • I Don’t Understand
  • Go Prone (lie down and remain still)

You will have to ensure other staff members also understand the basics of communicating silently (zombies can hear and will follow noises to investigate).

Monitor the direction of approaching zombies and if time take steps to add more blockages to your office doors and windows. Though you may want to hold still and quiet, if you start adding more defences it might alert zombies to your presence who may have not known you were in hiding – it’s a risk you’ll have to assess at the time.

What Happens if Zombies Start to Break into the Office?

You are not at a total disadvantage for the moment so keeping yourself calm and others around you is the first priority. It’s all a matter of a fighting withdrawal (remember they are undead so you can really go to town in making sure they go down and stay down no matter how messy it gets).

We are going to be harsh here and say if a member of staff is caught by zombies do NOT go back to rescue. If you do it is very likely you will end up a zombie snack OR if you do manage to rescue the person and they’ve been bitten then they will turn to a zombie and potentially devour you from behind...

Use the opportunity of a caught member of staff as “livebait” to slow and distract zombies from eating you – as regrettable as this is it will give you and your team a few minutes time to plan your next set of moves.

Slowing Down the Zombies who have gained Entry into your Office

Do remember as they enter to ask each zombie to complete the Visitor Sign-In Book; on second thoughts don’t, you won’t have time and they (zombie visitors) probably won’t have the inclination.

If you have enough office furniture left you might be able to carry out this method:

Funnel zombies into another room that leads nowhere and has a door that opens from the inside, using desks, computer chairs and other office furniture – you will need to use someone (who can move fast) as bait to distract them, yes your boss looks suitable but remember you might have to rely on his leadership skills... how about the intern... they’ll likely be a lot younger and fitter so if they have an escape route out of the room you want the zombies to get into they’ll have a better chance of escape and evasion than older employees.

You may read that zombies can’t climb stairs. This is categorically not true. They can climb stairs and we’ve got photos below to prove it.  Zombies that can’t climb stairs will crawl over other undead/infected, it might take them some time but trust me they will reach you – so make sure you block stairwells using office chairs and tables if possible.

Choose your Weapon

Taking out zombies

Now we all know that to take a zombie down you have to shoot it through the head. Thing is, in the UK, we don’t have access to handguns and other firing weapons as easily as some in other countries.

So you’ll have to be a little creative in the weapons you will have to use when cornered in the office:

Knives – a good kitchen knife but carry a good number as when it goes in through a zombies’ skull you won’t immediately be able to pull it back out. You’ll definitely need backups.

Fire Extinguishers – with a good weight to them it is likely you can stun a zombie with a well aimed blow to the head. Failing that discharge the extinguisher in the zombies face to confuse it and give yourself some room to escape.

Coatstands – certainly useful to herd zombies into rooms or down corridors, you may also find zombies in an advanced rate of decomposition have softer skulls to plunge a coatstand through.

Cafe style bistro chairs - grab them from the canteen (if you have one) and use them like a lion tamer would to hold off zombies and keep their hands and teeth out of range

For more information on other weapons check this link out:

Evacuating the Office

Ok, so now your office has been totally compromised, you’ll need to evacuate, you won’t want to stick around fighting off more and more zombies so cut your losses and quickly get out of the building.

Use your team members as spotters, identify the best route out of the building with the least number of zombies (and therefore lowest risk of attack/highest chance of survival) and make your way there. Do not end up in a back room with no way out, ensure you move into a room with an exit point (either window or door). Direct your staff to work as a team holding off zombies and help others make their exit. If you are going to head towards your cars (if you have them nearby) then it might be best to unlock them from a distance so you can race out and climb in without fumbling for the keys as you get to the car door. Keep together for as long as you can, as a group you are better prepared to fight off any threats. If things get really bad, you will have to order the group to split to give yourselves some means of survival.

From there you should either head:

  • Home – to pick up family but be aware they may already be zombies so watch your step
  • Hardware/DIY Store - to gather more melee weapons if possible
  • Pub - well you might as well have one last round, it has been a long day!


In any zombie outbreak it is going to be a difficult enough task keeping everyone together as a team at the office so make a Zombie Outbreak Plan and have all employees add their invaluable input – it will come to good use if the apocalypse does kick off. Life afterwards won’t be the same again... doubtful there'll be any overtime for a while...

In the meantime if you’ve got any tips for defending your office from the undead please share them below – we’d love to hear them!

Posted by Paul Randall
23rd June 2013