Top 10 Tips for Surviving Office Life

The modern office isn’t quite a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it’s not always pleasant, either. If your workspace, your co-workers, or your sinking feeling of not getting anything done needs fixing, here are ten possible remedies.

10. Have Someone Else Do Your Handicapping

office setup
office setup (Photo credit: Rob ‘n’ Rae)

You can only tell everybody you work with about your sleepless nights, your headache, and other self-handicapping excuses for so long, before everybody just starts putting your skills and competency at the level you’ve set with your frequent tales of woe. If you really do end up staying up all night due to the neighbors’ alarm, try to get someone else to deliver your rough condition for you—a co-worker, a spouse, anybody except you, the person who’s always got an “If I didn’t” story. Read the New York Times’ examination of excuse psychology for the details.
9. Ask Others to Be Creative Without Putting It That Way
Ask a team member or group in a meeting to “be creative,” and they’re likely to either laugh at your naivet’e or simply clam up in fear of responding with, well, something uncreative. Instead, ask, as Newsweek suggests, that they “[d]o something only [they] would come up with—that none of [their] friends or family would think of.” That lowers the stakes in suggestiveness, but still allows them to tap their unique thoughts.
8. Leave Without Burning Bridges

Bridges across the Chicago River, seen from a ...
Bridges across the Chicago River, seen from a Water Taxi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s easy to think “See you, suckers!” when you land another great gig, or can just see freedom coming up around the bend. Before splitting the scene, though, consider what happens if your next gig doesn’t work out, or if you need a favor, and keep your bridges intact. Tell your co-workers and managers that you’re leaving for growth opportunities in the new firm, that you’re leaving behind the company but not your relationships, and don’t waste any time bad-mouthing your old job to customers or new employees—you’ve got to finish up your work before you leave. It all sounds goody-goody, but it’s a small two-week investment in what might be a great resource in the future.

7. Get Around or Work Beyond Lame IT Restrictions
Some companies have a certain set of computer apps they want their employees to work inside, and nothing more. Gina’s previously recommended USB thumb drive apps and some other clever tactics to survive IT lockdown, but for those stuck in the browser race with Internet Explorer, we’ve also offered up our guide to getting Firefox’s best features in Internet Explorer.

6. Ease Into Small Talk with Anybody

Small Talk
Small Talk (Photo credit: CarbonNYC)

The tendency, at least for those not in sales, is to shrink into a corner and talk with well-known co-workers at larger events and office functions. Need some help getting out and circulating? Wired’s How-To Wiki has some great advice on making small talk, using a handful of proven tactics. Wry observations about the situation can work, but if you’re just trying to chat up one person, try looking for subjects that give the other person a chance to tell you more about themselves. More importantly, resist the temptation to follow up with your own, even more fantastical story, or you’ll be known as the person who talks to people just so they can talk at people.

5. Consider the Realities of Telecommuting
If you don’t like going into work and have daydreams of working from home, don’t indulge your fantasies without some consideration. You may think it’s rough having to deal with Sheryl from accounting, but at least when you’re away from your desk, or in a meeting, or you’ve called in sick, she’s not a bother. Working from home, on the other hand, can mean feeling like you need to be constantly accessible, as a New York Times feature explains. Due to social psychology or personal guilt, many work-from-home types end up dishing out more hours from home to clients than they ever would have at the office. It’s still an exciting challenge, but consider what you’re getting to get away with at the office before you curse it too deeply.

4. Crank Out Important Stuff Before Email Does You In
Success Ahead .. Helping others is a pillar of...

Those days where you realize it’s 4 p.m. and you still, somehow, haven’t really tackled the most important task on your list? They often get that way because you get sucked into every other worker’s dilemmas and issues, without giving yourself solid time to sit down and focus. So do as Gina suggested and don’t check email for the first hour. As crazy as it sounds, if it’s the first hour of your day, people might not actually expect you to get back to them ASAP, and you can work on your work before anyone tells you otherwise.

3. Avoid Email Annoyances and Red Flags

Red flag left
Red flag left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever wonder why your boss might cringe a bit when you email him about a “huge mistake” that you “can’t believe” wasn’t handled better? It might be because he knows such phrases are red flags that lawyers and investigators look for. You shouldn’t lie, of course, but your boss wouldn’t want you pasting signs in the window that read “Shady Things Happening Here!” either. While you’re considering your email output, ponder the most annoying email tendencies our readers came up with. Not everybody agrees, but take them for what they are—suggestions that the most automated and pointless of email signatures are what you should try to avoid, not common, sincere pleasantries.

2. Make Your Physical Space Much Better with Small Changes

Pst! Is getting closer to physically tweeting ...
Pst! Is getting closer to physically tweeting space… (Photo credit: meganleigh)

You can’t just ask for the corner office, but you can make the place you do your job much better with small-scale changes. Consider buying yourself a great mouse or comfortable keyboard, the kind you’ll take with you to your next assignment. Make some ergonomic changes, get yourself some hard-to-kill plants, and greatly improve your physical space.

1. Ignore People—Seriously

Image representing 37signals as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

37Signals leader and Rework author Jason Fried lays out the case for why so many people are working on nights and weekends—it’s the only time they can actually work. Too many offices have an environment where not immediately responding to an IM, an email, or a just-over-the-cubicle “Got a minute?” is seen as rude or un-team-like. Fried suggests creating a culture, even if it’s just a culture of one, in which work is valued, messages are replied to at sane intervals, and nobody has to do secret day-off work.

Get chatty in the comments.


38 Comments Add yours

  1. cashzilla says:

    Reblogged this on cashzilla.

  2. Dianna Klann says:

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. WordPress Seo Plugin

  3. excellent post. fascinating reading. i’d be happy to have you submit your article links for any future postings such as these you feel might be useful for your readership. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

  4. thanks for such an excellent post and also the evaluate, i am completely impressed! maintain stuff like this coming. lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails

  5. Zeeshan Alam says:

    thank u very much and thanks for your suggestion of SEO……..

  6. Warning ! This message is for the webmaster !!!! you have a great blog . But !! beleave it or not this site wont get you any cash i learned it the hard way . I was wasting money and efforts untill i got to russel and mohali those are 2 crazy internet marketers , just joing mohali list here NOBODYSDEAD.COM to get great value for FREE , First thing you will learn about the secret marketing strategies they are using . those made me till now 500 usd in a month my fist month , i tried squidoo lenses and blogging before and made only 30 usd 😦 . Maybe 500 usd is not that much , but its a strat i am reinvesting this money into those strategies i learned from those marketers . I know Blogging is not bad if you are a great writer but wont it be better if you make 10x , 20x or maybe 50x more ! i cant give you all info here , if you are interrested join here NOBODYSDEAD.COM .

  7. beleave it or not this site wont get you any cash i learned it the hard way . You Probably heard of this “Offline Netspace thing” (not in BLogging) . I know Blogging is not bad if you are a great writer but wont it be better if you make 10x , 20x or maybe 50x more ! i cant give you all info here , if you are interrested join me here NOBODYSDEAD.COM feel free to contact me 😉

  8. tutu dresses says:

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this web site on regular basis to take updated from most up-to-date reports.

  9. Hello there, I am really glad I have discovered this information. These days blog writers distribute no more than gossips along with online along with this is actually annoying. A great website together with interesting written content, that’s just what I need. Thanks regarding trying to keep this web-site, I am traveling to it. Does one accomplish news letters? Cannot find it.

  10. Persuasive says:

    I do not usually answer posts but I am going to in this case, great information I will certainly bookmark your site. Keep up the good operate!

  11. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into
    any issues of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  12. Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality used to be a entertainment account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  13. Avoid says:

    What you said made a lot of sense. But, think about this, what if you added a little content? I mean, I dont want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added something to maybe get peoples attention? Just like a video or a picture or two to get people excited about what youve got to say. In my opinion, it would make your blog come to life a little bit.

  14. Hello presently there. I found your site using bing. This generally is a very well crafted article. I shall be bound for you to bookmark this and application discover more of ones useful data. Was looking for post. Ill definitely return.

  15. thanks all for your great suggestions. i do my best to create this blog useful to all of you.

  16. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  17. Thanks for reminding the service. People today talk about getting lots of followers and following few ones only to improve the value of twitter profile. I guess it will probably be great for those who wish to earn from twitter.

  18. a2155524 says:

    I’ve said that least 2155524 times. SCK was here

  19. I simply want to say I am just very new to blogs and seriously enjoyed you’re web page. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You surely come with impressive articles and reviews. Bless you for sharing your blog site.

  20. Nigel Jevtic says:

    I like your fantastic web internet site, I had been searching for this all /best regards

  21. Elroy Reisig says:

    Wuling left Chang’an in the dust in 2006, and never ever looked But what happened to Bill Fisher’s plans for AmAsia to put lots of Wuling EV conversions to the roads in the U.S.? Perhaps GM acquired in the way.

  22. Popusti says:

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  23. auto oglasi says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

  24. I simply want to tell you that I’m all new to weblog and honestly liked you’re blog. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your website . You certainly have outstanding writings. Cheers for sharing your web-site.

  25. I just want to say I’m newbie to blogs and absolutely savored you’re website. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You actually have great stories. Thank you for sharing your blog site.

  26. Mighty handy viewpoint, many thanks for giving.. I located splendid sem management. Treasure the blog you furnished..

  27. Great post! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

  28. conscious mind says:

    You’ve an incredibly good layout for the website, i want it to use on my web page as well .

  29. cure pimples now says:

    You’ve a really good layout for the website, i want it to use on my site also .

  30. click here to visit site says:

    hey there and thank you for the information and facts – I’ve unquestionably picked up something new from ideal right here. I did nevertheless knowledge some technical issues working with this web site, as I skilled to reload the webpage several instances preceding to I could get it to load effectively. I had been asking yourself if your internet host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances occasions will oftentimes influence your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and promoting with Adwords. Nicely I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and may look out for a lot far more of your respective fascinating content material. Make sure that you update this again soon..

  31. My favourite Budgeting app hands down is YNAB You Need A Budget.

  32. 30k says:

    i really much appreciating such an opportunity to write to my favorite podcast which truly beneficient for me in both ways ( english & business ) but iam inquiring about why the above materials r not included entirely in my i tunes where i get know of your valuable site .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s