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It’s early morning, but not early enough: you’ve already watched three underground trains go by, not getting on any of them because the carts were too crowded. When you get to the office, you’re fifteen minutes behind schedule, a schedule that you dream to one day abide by. Your boss is peering through the door: He’s worse than Miranda Presley. You sit at your desk and greet everyone with a big smile, but after turning on the computer you can only stare blankly. You’re officially on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
There are two solutions: quit (a bit drastic, no?); or relax, breathe and try to follow our three simple tips for surviving the office life and – believe it or not – you could be happy.
Rooms for yoga sessions, organic bars, a skater section, slides instead of stairs and balloon-shaped areas for brainstorming. If you don’t work in San Francisco for Airbnb (link and photo), or for Google in Dublin (link and photo), this type of office furnishing is still just a dream.
Looking for alternatives, simple yet efficient, to furnish your office? Start from the walls: faint colours that aid concentration and are not distracting. Then choose the right office table: big, spacious and above all tidy. Finally the chair: It must be as comfortable as possible. If not, get a pillow to place behind your back.
Think of the office as a football team: If there’s no teamwork, everyone becomes tired more easily without getting great results. How can you create team spirit? Good question. For now, try getting to know your colleagues!
Statistics tell us that it’s impossible that, in an office of ten people, every single one of them is obnoxious. Even if you’re ready to disagree with this statement, at least give them a shot: start talking to colleagues immediately about what happens outside the workplace, propose post-work drinks and try to build intimate relationships, in small groups, without excluding anyone. If nothing changes, you win and we’ll give this one to you.
Please note: have you ever seen the movie “Yes Man”? The main character, played by Jim Carrey, discovers that always saying “yes” to every proposition changes his life for the better. In your office, don’t aim to be exactly like hm. Being a “Yes Man” seriously damages your health, but, above all, your personal relationships. Create your own take on the rule, helping others when you can, but still establishing a righteous limit on your availability.
Bringing lunch from home or ordering delivery will certainly save you time that you’d otherwise have to spend at the office after hours. It will also help you save those precious 25 steps from the office to the café, which would otherwise be excessive, don’t you think? Good, so now it’s time to change your habits.
Go out for lunch at least two times a week: it’s a change in scenery, you’ll be able to have a nice walk with your colleagues and see what life is like away from desks and computers. Do it at no costs: no smartphones allowed at the table.
One of the tell-tale signs of an imminent nervous breakdown is the conviction that you have a tremendously important job and an overwhelming amount of work. If you’re thinking 'that’s me!', then trust me, it’s time for a holiday.
The last point that’s key for your mental health: even if you are flooded with a million things to do, you always need to switch it up, to recharge your batteries and clear your mind. Next time you are faced with an overwhelming problem… escape to the bathroom, pretend to be on a call, chat with the doorman, and at least that way you can do whatever you want for ten minutes. Good luck!