Contemporary office work is becoming increasingly challenging as many routine tasks are automated or outsourced. The remaining problem solving activities may also offer potential for lifelong learning in the workplace. In this study, we analyzed problem solving in an office work setting using an Internet-based, semi-standardized diary to collect data close to the process. Thirteen employees in commercial departments of an automotive supplier participated voluntarily; they recorded 64 domain-specific problem cases in total. Typical problems were moderately complex but rather urgent. They were detected by means of monitoring, augmented feedback or feedback from others. The problems detected provoked states of high arousal, including both negative and positive emotions. We found that seeking support from others was the most common approach to problem solving, and that in general problem solving offered considerable learning possibilities. Experts were confronted with more complex problems than novices, they more often solved problems using their domain-specific knowledge, but they also preferred social support. Surprisingly, experts reported higher negative emotional states after having detected a problem than novices. The results, the diary method and the limitations of the study are discussed.