Into the Jungle: How to Survive in an Open Plan Office? (Without Eating Your Coworkers)

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  • Into the Jungle: How to Survive in an Open Plan Office? (Without Eating Your Coworkers)

Open space office design, which is so popular nowadays, does not always cope with its mission - to ensure better communication and encourage idea sharing. At the same time, employees are increasingly complaining about the noise, lack of privacy and other inconveniences.

According to Gensler workplace survey, 67% of workers feel worse and work less in open work spaces, but they also get sick more often.  In addition, working in an office with no windows provokes depression and insomnia.

But what if you are forced to work in an open cubicle which doesn’t seem to be an incredible office and you are constantly getting distracted by the noisy coworkers? Let’s discuss how to survive in an open space office and remain calm and composed at work.

Dorm rules for an open-plan office

Before becoming best buddies with your roommate at college (if you were lucky to) you used to act formally and keep a certain distance. The same goes for your colleagues, be polite and respect their privacy:

  • do not talk and laugh loud
  • do not eat at your workplace
  • do not turn on the air conditioner without asking your colleagues

Trust us, following an open office environment etiquette, will make your work life much easier and you would be surprised how simple and powerful it is. 

open-plan_office_photo

Put yourself together 

All of us sometimes get off on the wrong foot, but it's better not to show your bad mood to the colleagues, take a break and give yourself some time to blow off steam. Even if you are ready to explode, try to calm down and act in a polite manner, you don’t want to get yourself into trouble, do you? Remember: if you want to change the world – switch your cell phone to silent mode, talk with your relatives and beloved in the corridor, discuss working issues quietly and do not interfere with one’s personal space. Keep in your mind - respect in the workplace plays a major role and creates friendly and cheerful atmosphere. 

Take a break to reduce the offices stress

Don’t sit at your desk like you’re stuck there forever. Give yourself a break and leave the room for a few minutes. This will reduce the pressure on your nerves and give you some energy to recharge. Take a deep breath, stretch your back and legs or go outside for a while – your brain may lack oxygen making you feel tired and apathetic. If you do that on a regular basis, you will soon notice how useful it is for your productivity and overall mental health.

Use cute desk ideas for work 

Personalize your workplace. Try to create a cozy atmosphere that will make you feel like home. Hang some family photos, motivational or funny pictures, place a nice looking plant on your desk. You may also bring some soft wool pillows or your favorite grandmother’s blanket (if it’s not forbidden by the office’s rules). The more comfortable you feel, the easier it is dive into work.

open_work_spaces_photo

Fight the noise in a crowded office

Unfortunately, you cannot avoid the noise in a crowded office space. Experienced inhabitants recommend to put on headphones – they will help you to concentrate on work despite everything. In some companies, this attribute is essential and comes along with other office supplies. If the music does not help you concentrate – use earplugs.

Take care of your health

One of the main problems of an open office plan is viral infections. You may not even know that your colleague from another department came to work with a runny nose, and the next day you would be feeling dizzy and completely ill. So how can you protect yourself? Wash your hands more often, wipe the dust on your desktop, sneeze into a napkin and immediately throw it into the trash, or better - do not go to work with a fever, a runny nose or a cough. Your boss may not appreciate it but your colleagues definitely will, besides you won’t be able to do your best while trying to cope with a headache or a sore throat.

And most importantly – try to keep a positive attitude. Remember how glad you were to receive a job offer and be able to become a part of the company.  Of course, small office plans are more preferable but try to analyze the pros and cons of open office and embrace its benefits or adjust your workplace using our office tips. 

If you really love what you do, nothing will stop you even if you are the only introvert at work.

 

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