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Dear PoPville – How do you endure daily Office Life?


Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator

“Dear PoPville,

I realize this isn’t exactly an advice column, but I think this online community might be particularly suited to help me understand a problem I’m having.

I have a great job that is interesting and allows me to make a positive impact on the world. My co-workers are fantastic and the benefits are excellent. The problem is that I cannot stand working behind a computer for 7 or 8 hours each day. It makes me stir-crazy, unfocused, and — at its worst — depressed. I have tried everything: I get up from my workstation at least once an hour for tea, a bathroom break or a quick run to a nearby store, walk at least 30 minutes outdoors at lunch in good weather and have an active life outside of the office. I’ve even manufactured my own sort of standing desk out of some old boxes (my supervisors will not spring for something fancier) to try to break up my movements and work during the day. These all provide some relief, but not enough to restore my sanity.

Unfortunately, my chosen field is social science research, and there aren’t a lot of opportunities to not be sitting at a desk. It is to the point where I am considering a career change, despite the fact that I love the work I do (just not how it is done). I’ve thought about speaking with a career counselor or even a therapist, but neither is really an option in my current budget. Is there something I’m missing? How do others cope?”

Some people are gonna jump down your throat because the economy is so bad and there are many looking for work. Screw them.

I think you need to start looking for a new job. Absolutely do not quit your current job but I def. think it’s time you started looking for a new job that is not in an office environment. Do you know anyone who has a non office job? Ask your friends if they know of any folks who don’t work in offices to learn about some options that are out there. You’ll need to take a serious look at your finances and see what is feasible, as it is quite possible your new job will require a pay cut.

On the other hand if it is not feasible to take a pay cut or there are no realistic alternatives – I think you may want to focus on afterwork pursuits. Sports leagues, volunteering, reading, art, music whatever brings you joy. Have something to look forward to at the end of the day.

For those that work in an office but hate office life – do you have any tips to make office life more palatable?

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