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The United States has a population of about 320 million people. Of that bunch, about 60% hold professional positions. With the Millennial generation coming of working age, attitudes and practices in the workplace are changing. Some of us work remotely, some in multiple offices, while others hang on to the traditional cubicle work space. For those of us who hold the traditional 9-5 desk positions, how do you keep from becoming stale? Can you honestly tell yourself you enjoy going to sit in a tiny walled space for 8 hours? Before you burnout or start having a bitter attitude towards what will ultimately pay your mortgage, here are 7 tips to help prevent workplace (cubicle) burnout.
- Leave your attitude and personal issues at the door. No one cares for the coworker who always walks the door in a bitter mood. Or allows their heavily trafficked commute to resonate between the walls. Your coworkers don’t want to hear about the negativity in your life. If you put your negative feelings in your pocket as soon as you enter the workplace, you can think of it as a new slate. Plus, chances are if you don’t think or talk about your issues for the day, they wont be as big of an issue at days end as they were in the beginning.
- Add character to your work space. Are you surrounded by four walls with grey or earth tone coverings? Cover them with you! Add pictures, color, a calendar. Make your space unique to you so its not putting you to sleep. Whether its Darth Vader, Wonder Woman or your favorite quote, it’s your space to help you to be more productive.
- Invest in a stability ball. Not only are they fun to sit on, but you get a killer ab/back workout. Get your work done while working out? Double whammy. Sitting in a traditional office chair does not activate any muscles there for not assisting in pumping blood to different parts of the body. If you’re worried about it rolling away, you can purchase or make a storage cube for it out of PVC piping.
- Take a lap around your floor every hour. Yes, that is right. Set a timer for 60 mins and every 60 mins, stop what you’re doing, give your eyes and your mind a break and get your blood flowing. This will break up the monotony of staring at your monitor, the papers in front of you and give you a change of scenery for 5 mins. Studies have shown that a little break like this could actually boost productivity.
- Change what you’re working on. Change the project you’re doing. If you feel yourself slumping or 10 minutes has passed and you haven’t progressed, change what you’re doing. Maybe you’re at a road block and just need a refresher, you can always come back.
- Chat with your coworkers. If you’re in a position where you don’t talk to people throughout the day, such as making phone calls or collaborating with team members, take a break and chat with a cube mate. Take a trip to the break room, chat with a colleague. This is sometimes when the best ideas, or ways to over come that writers block come to fruition.
- Move your work space for the day. If your boss will not let you work remotely, is there another area of the office you could work? Hoping you’re not married to your cube, companies such as RackSpace, Google, and LinkedIn allow their employees to get up and change their environment to help stimulate productivity.
So, if you’re unhappy in your position, try some of these tips before making any big decisions. Sometimes all that is needed is a refresher in environment, or a change up in daily routine. Also, speak with your superior, they want you to thrive at your job and will most likely be willing to work with you regarding your struggles.