Welcome to the Jungle: How to Stay Productive in a Wild Office Environment

Everything is wild in the animal kingdom. The same can be said of our working environment.

Modern companies may be paving the way in innovation and productivity, but they can also be a hectic place to work. It is all too easy to get caught in the stampede of office excitement. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, it’s important to take charge of your productivity and, ultimately, your happiness.

Here are some ways to carve out the environment you need from the environment you have.

Transform Your Space

We’ve all heard of the various office attributes that tout maximum productivity: open spaces, natural light, thinking space, and comfortable seats. But, while you may not be able to knock down a wall, put in a new window, or move your lazy boy up seven flights of stairs, you can still make positive changes to your personal space.

Mimic the space you desire as best you can. If florescent bulbs make you drowsy, find a sun lamp that follows the patterns of the sun and resembles natural lights. If you find yourself stiff and achy, see if a standing desk is a possibility for you. Something as small as a plant on your desk will freshen the air around you and put you in the right headspace. Bringing personal items from home can always help make a place feel more comfortable, too. Arriving to a work station that makes you happy already puts you on the right track.

Barricade Yourself

Just like in the jungle, sometimes the only way to safety is to hide. If you’re an introvert or a solitary worker and you find yourself constantly in the mix of chatter and nearby phone calls, build a bunker. This holds true for extroverts as well, who may love a busy environment so much so that solitary work is tough to find. Turn off email alerts, and hide your phone. Camouflage. If you don’t have a door, a folding screen can be an extremely effective way to block would-be distractors from stealing your focus.

Send Signals

Let others around you know whether or not you’re available. In addition to the folding screen, there are social cues your coworkers will pick up on if you use them regularly. People often aren’t distracting you intentionally, they just aren’t aware that you don’t want to be disturbed.

Putting on headphones, even without playing music, is an easy way to let others around you know you are not to be approached. Indicate on email or instant messages that you are “away” or “busy”. Herd mentality is real, try working in a group. When others see you and others working diligently and quietly, it will send off a message to those who may be looking to interrupt.

We can’t always choose our office environment, but we can certainly tweak it to our benefit. Make sure your space supports your goals, and you’ll be able to survive just about anyone.

What are some survival tricks you use? Let us know on our Facebook page!