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AIBU to HATE working in an office?

(133 Posts)
HappyGirlNow Tue 07-Jan-14 15:03:25

With loads of other people.. I find it claustrophobic,irritating and depressing after lots of years of doing it.. I think although I'm confident and will be sociable when required I'm an introvert at heart and am finding it harder and harder to deal with being around people so much, all day, day in day out..

I just want to start my own business, work from home.. Although I'll have to deal with other people I'll be able to get away from them too!

Do other people feel like this?

SwedishEdith Tue 07-Jan-14 15:06:56

Yes. Read 'Quiet' and it'll all make sense again. Maybe you've already read it - very helpful

WaitingForMe Tue 07-Jan-14 15:07:11

Yes. I'm now self-employed and work from home.

revivingshower Tue 07-Jan-14 15:08:28

What I don't like is the sedentary side of it. I've always liked a practical job, although as I am less healthy now I am moving more towards less physical jobs.

One option for you would be move to a different job, like a p.a where you are in a small office.

JeanSeberg Tue 07-Jan-14 15:10:18

You're not unreasonable at all, I particularly hate it at this time of year with the endless "happy new year! What did you get up to?" that you have to go through. And people have been dribbling back to work for the last 4 working days so it's never-ending.

How realistic would a change of career for you be?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 07-Jan-14 15:11:20

I don't hate workingin "an" office, but I do hate working in "this" office.

Other places I've worked have been fun - where I work now, everyone is so serious. It's also over crowded - the building houses far more people than it was designed to, and most people have to hot desk, which means spending the first 30 mins of your day looking for a free desk, and being unable to put personal things out and leave them there.

GemmaTeller Tue 07-Jan-14 15:12:41

Me too, I used to sit in the car in the car park and dread going into the office.

I was sick of the arguing over who's turn it was to make coffee, sick of the arguments over the air conditioning setting, office politics, the constant office collections etc etc.

I spent six months sorting my finances out and saving up then gave my notice in to work for myself from home.

People in the office were shock hmm

I was grin grin and have yet to regret it (two years later)

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 15:19:45

No, of course not.

A lot of it might just be that office though. I found that I really liked going in to work in a big office. I liked the company, the running jokes, the trips to the kitchen for coffee, the free food, the hum of business going on, the feeling of settling into a productive day in my little part of the operations. I did not like the overwork mentality. I did not like the endless weather-based conversations. I did not like the ridiculous HVAC situation that was apparently 100% unfixable. I did not like the politics.

But then I spent two years working at home (grad school) which was quite isolating, and now I work in a small office. I was quite relieved to get back into an office environment, and there are some things about the big offices that I really miss. So it may be a matter of finding your niche.

Womby Tue 07-Jan-14 15:23:37

No you are not being unreasonable.

Your post really struck a chord as it could easily have been written by me!

I work in an office and I absolutely hate it – the constant changes to policy, incessant mind numbing meetings, office politics etc etc.

Like you, I used to work in an open plan office with 7 other people with no dividing screens between desks – I was the quiet one who, although I liked a laugh, also liked to get on with my work – the next desk over sat a woman who will chat at the top of her voice ALL DAY and who would pounce on any visitor who walked in to start up a fresh conversation – her work output wasn’t great!

After a few years I’d had enough and left the firm. I am now 10 years into another job – also in an office – but ‘on my own’. I still hate office life BUT at least I can hate it on my own without the constant annoyances of shared places with the constant noise – people moaning it’s too hot/cold for them etc.

My dream is to set up a craft business from home and sell at markets or online but at aged 50 the risk of jumping from a reasonably secure job into a non- secure one with no pension and a mortgage to pay is too great - so I’m stuck here for another 17 years it seems.

One I thing I have done is to switch to a compressed week – I work 37 hours but over 4 days instead of 5. Having one day to myself to spend on my hobbies/meet friends does help to keep me sane.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

HappyGirlNow Tue 07-Jan-14 15:40:38

Thanks all grin - glad I'm not alone..

I don't think that colleagues would ever think of me as an introvert but really I am happiest with my own company or that of those very close to me.. I suspect most folk would say I'm outgoing and extrovert!

I get on very well with my colleague in my immediate team (very small team) - we've worked together for years, have the same attitude to things and we have a real laugh... But as for the wider team - well I force myself to make the effort but it all feels so false to me.. I'm sick of making the effort.. I do have a laugh at times but I just think I'd be so much happier working from home and mostly on my own.. Out of the goldfish bowl.. And away from all the corporate crap.

I've done pretty well in my career but it's not something I could do working from home all the time.. And I would still be part of a bigger 'team' which I don't want..

I do have an idea of what I could do but it would be a very steep learning curve and would be hard to get a foothold in it to start with.. Also I would need to clear some debt and save some money before I could do it..

Womby I used to work compressed hours like you, loved the extra day off a week but had to give it up when I got my current job. I do think that I coped better with that extra day out the office..

HappyGirlNow Tue 07-Jan-14 15:45:29

Sorry SwedishEdith - meant to say just got Quiet on Kindle grin Thanks

Oblomov Tue 07-Jan-14 16:05:53

I would hate NOT to work in an office.
I could work from home. I would hate to. My friend does similar. We were talking about it. She agreed. We were both saying that we would hate to work at home, on our own and not see another person for days on end.
Depends what suits, I guess.

CaptainSweatPants Tue 07-Jan-14 16:11:41

I feel your pain
I was driven mad in December by the endless what are you doing for Xmas conversation , are you ready etc etc
Now it's all diets & holidays and droning on about the weather
Grrr I'm a mardy arse grin some days I can't stand any of them

SashaOfSiberia Tue 07-Jan-14 16:21:05

THis is one of the many reasons I work from home. I think, in fact I know lots of people believe me to be an extrovert but I'm really not and I find it exhausting being surrounded by people in the way an office is set up.

I'm a partner of our company meaning that when I'm in the office I feel very watched, and because of the nature of the work, if I'm in the office I have to be in the thick of it I can shut myself away in my own section.

I spent yesterday in the office and I nearly went postal. I ended up mainlining coffee and biscuits for the entire day. I went in again this morning but am so glad to be home, I really empathise with you.

I just wanted to add that although I work from home I see people most days, in relation to work I mean, I often have client meetings to attend, video calls or conferences and lots and lots of phone calls. The thing is its much more brief. I really recommend trying to work from home but setting something up where you do get human interaction, I think for people like us it's the balance that's needed.

HappyGirlNow Tue 07-Jan-14 16:29:37

Thanks Oblomov you're absolutely tight - for people who're naturally extrovert I think they'd go mad at home..

grin CaptainSweatPants - yes some days just the sound of their voices grates!

Sasha - I totally get what you're saying. The line of work I want to get into would still involve interactions with other companies, meetings and phone calls like you say, but intermittent and I can get away from other people if I really need to. Seems the perfect balance...

Agnesmum Tue 07-Jan-14 17:47:44

It's really hard working in an office with other people. Just had the day from hell in my office, colleague being extremely difficult over something very trivial. I spend half my working life gritting-my teeth because of her. Luckily I only work three days per week otherwise I would leave. I used to have my own office which I loved but due to redesign I am in an office of 7.

PipkinsPal Tue 07-Jan-14 17:53:07

Seeing the same faces day in day out used to make me feel down. Now I work in a Doctor's surgery and I see different faces every day and also it seems I see the same faces every day and those belong to the patients!!!!

HappyGirlNow Tue 07-Jan-14 20:07:42

Yip, I just feel I'm getting to the end of my tether with it.. Every morning as I walk in I just feel really depressed at the long day ahead stuck in there with everyone.. No offence to them personally. I just find it really oppressive..

Busyoldfool Tue 07-Jan-14 20:22:44

I'm with you on this. I last worked in a large open-plan office in 1986. Couldn't stand it for all those reasons. In those days people even smoked and my desk-neighbour chain-smoked from 8.30 - 4.30.!!!

I changed career, ( a job where I was out and about, "in the field" if you like) and loved it for many years. Now I work from home most of the time. So much better.

( I do miss easy access to technology, not having to lug my laptop/papers/kit/sandwiches around the country though!)

SwedishEdith Tue 07-Jan-14 20:45:40

I can work from home now and it does make it a lot more tolerable. But I do think it's probably good to have some human interaction so do go in regularly. I'm lucky to have the flexibilty but that is always important to me when looking for a new job. Would never take one (whilst I have a choice!) which meant I had to be in teh office every day. But, god, yea, diet talk <yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn>

aslongasheneedsme Tue 07-Jan-14 20:51:37

I'm totally with you on this. I didn't work in an office but had to spend the best part of the day sitting round a table being briefed and debriefed, even when we socialised all we talked about was work. Took early retirement a year ago - best thing I ever did

miaowmix Tue 07-Jan-14 20:53:03

Of course yanbu, but I am the polar opposite - worked freelance for 5 yrs or so and hated the isolation. I am ridiculously sociable and positively love working in an office as I do now. Except the getting up in the morning bit but that's immaterial. I spent most of my time at home procrastinating, cleaning and phoning friends. I much prefer my life now smile. Different strokes...

Mintyy Tue 07-Jan-14 20:55:13

Yanbu. Could never imagine going back to it <shudder>

newyearhere Tue 07-Jan-14 20:57:10

YANBU. If your work environment doesn't suit you then it sounds a good idea to see if you can change to something you prefer.

JayEmm Tue 07-Jan-14 21:12:17

I too loathe working in an office. Worked mostly from home for three years with optional office-based stuff and that was perfect. Now I am in a large team in an open plan office and it drives me literally nuts.

I hate the diet chat. I hate the weather chat. I hate the fact that one of my colleagues is a foster parent and thinks it's totally reasonable to talk at length and at volume about whatever awful circumstances her current fosteree is going through. I hate the casual racism and the casual sexism and the casual homophobia constantly bandied about. The leaving cards and the birthday cards and the constant pressure to be nice to people I have no desire to spend any time with whatsoever.

I dread going into work and feel exhausted and depressed about it when I'm there. Think I'm also an introvert - I live alone and have no trouble spending long periods entirely by myself so working from home again would be a total joy in comparison.

In sum: you are very definitely not being unreasonable and I know how you feel!

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