Working in an office certainly isn’t for everyone. Many people find it to be a suppressive environment, one in which their talents are not recognized.
Then there’s the office politics, which can end up deciding the fate of your career and determine who your future boss will be.
It could be that you simply don’t enjoy the physical attributes of an office environment, from the fluorescent lighting to constrictive working spaces or cubicles, which thankfully are losing popularity in the modern age.
But for better or worse, office jobs tend to be plentiful, and looking for a non-office job can take some time.
So if you think that working in an office is depressing, check out our tips on how to cope with your job and potentially work toward finding a job that you truly enjoy.
Stay Focused on Tasks
It’s important to not let your feelings about the workplace negatively affect your performance in the workplace.
Additionally, if you stay focused on your work and upcoming deadlines, you won’t be able to focus as much on wanting to find a different job or how you don’t enjoy the office setting.
Make sure to meet your deadlines and contribute to team projects with as much enthusiasm as you can muster.
Make the Office More Comfortable
Another good way to cope with workplace-related depression is to make your immediate workspace a bit more comfortable by tailoring it to your personality.
While you can’t bring in your own furniture or other large comforting objects, you can bring in small items or other intangible sources of comfort.
Focusing on these small comforting influences can distract you from negative feelings and even motivate you to finish your work efficiently.
Consider bringing family photos into work in the near future. Seeing images of your loved ones can be an excellent means of finding motivation and gaining a broader perspective on your situation.
We would also recommend bringing in little knick-knacks that are related to your personal hobbies and interests.
For example, if you’re a big sports fan, then you may want to bring in a few fun bobbleheads or a team pennant to hang on your wall.
It may sound like a minor suggestion, but you’ll enjoy being reminded of your favorites interests and activities outside of the workplace.
Listening to your own music during work hours can be an excellent way to cope with a bad situation.
You can even design a playlist to listen to specifically during work, packed with songs that boost your mood and motivate you to work a bit harder throughout the day.
If your work is fairly repetitive and mindless, then you can also try listening to some of your favorite podcasts during work.
This way, you’ll stay entertained while completing your work, and you just might learn something new in the process.
Or if you’re looking to be far more productive at work, then you should try listening to a selection of classical music, which has been proven to encourage mental stimulation.
Taking breaks during your shift is one of the single best ways to relax, recharge, and gain a more objective view of your situation.
You may even be entitled to additional breaks beyond your normal lunch break, depending on state laws where you work.
Get in touch with your human resources representative and ask whether you’d be able to take small 15-minute breaks in addition to your lunch break.
If possible, you should try to take your break outside of the office or even outside of the office building.
Take a short walk near the office building. The exercise can help you boost your mood and prepare you for the rest of your workday.
Explore Other Jobs
If you’ve tried your best to cope with your depressing office job and your efforts have proven to be unsuccessful, then it may be time to start considering finding work elsewhere.
As a first step, you should set aside some time to update your resume. Make sure that potential employers will be able to see your skills and past experience clearly and easily.
And while your job search should be based on your skills and your areas of interest, you may also want to focus on industries that would allow you to work in a setting other than an office.
Many freelance jobs allow you to work from home or a shared office space of your choosing. Common freelance activities include graphic design, proofreading, video editing, and illustration.
If you prefer to work outdoors, you may want to explore the possibility of becoming a park ranger or a city employee who checks utilities around town.
Make Use of Your Free Time
While you’re waiting to hear back from potential employers, you should also try to make good use of your free time each day.
This means that when you come home from a long day at the office, you should try to avoid falling asleep on the couch or just watching television for 3-5 hours at a time.
Sink some time into your hobbies or social activities with friends. At the end of each day you’ll be more likely to feel like you made good use of your time.
Working on a continuous project in your spare time, such as a model train set or canvas paintings, can help give you something to look forward to each evening, preventing you from thinking too much about work.
Hobbies are just a great way to remind yourself that you have a vibrant life outside of work, a life where you can dedicate your time to anything you want, or be wherever you want that isn’t just another office.
Feeling depressed in your office job is far from rare. Many other people feel the same way you do, and reaching out to others who want to work somewhere other than an office may inspire you to find a new job.
Until then, stay calm and try to focus on the aspects of your work that you genuinely enjoy.