The antics and issues in Office Space are even more relevant in 2011 than they were in 1999 when the movie was released. Today, employees sit more, work in smaller office spaces, and are more secluded from others. If we’re not careful, we’re going to gradually become less productive due to our small, boring, and dark office spaces!
So how can you keep your energy up, and get more work done than ever before? How can you combat sleepiness and feel more motivated? How can we all avoid feeling like Peter Gibbons and expressing ourselves with the following quote: “I don’t like my job, and I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore”? By taking tips from Office Space into your own cube, that’s how!
Things you can do to prevent cubicle burnout right from the start:
- Decorate your cubicle! Make it fun and colorful (no plain gray walls here)! Basically, you’ll want to do the opposite of what the cubes in Office Space look like. Check out 12 fun cubicle ideas here if you need some inspiration. Although those 12 ideas are on the extreme side and most likely not even possible at your place of employment, they’ll still get you thinking. Come on people, find something to spice up your space! Why spend 40+ hours a week in a plain-Jane cube? Personalize it and give it some life! It will make you feel happier, more productive, and less like a work robot.
- Keep a good attitude, unlike most of the people in Office Space. No “I’m not lazy, I just don’t care” attitudes allowed! Stay positive and do the best you can. It will always make you feel better, more awake, and proud of yourself—plus hopefully the boss notices, so it can awaken your paychecks too! Not to mention, always be thinking, “Is this good for the company?” That way you can avoid “the Bobs” and keep your job nice and secure.
When your productivity drops, try these tips:
- Change your task! For example, you could switch from a spreadsheet project to scheduling your next meeting or finishing typing up that letter. Changing gears will keep your mind alert and less likely to get bored. Play some music or snag some songs that are more up-tempo than what you’re already listening to. Sometimes a slow song will make you tired and feel more drained. Or, just do something fun to liven things up! “So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans”….it will break the monotony at least!
- Move! Get up, walk around, or stretch. Stretching helps keep the blood and oxygen flowing throughout your body and helps keep you feeling awake and refreshed! So get up, stretch, or walk to the fax machine every couple of hours. Hopefully you can avoid a “PC Load letter—What the f*ck does that mean?” or “No, not again…. why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam?” type of scenario!
- Talk with your co-workers! Be social. Share a story or joke. Ask them how their weekend was. Lighten up the atmosphere and get to know your cubemates. Recall the scene in Office Space where Samir, Michael Bolton, and Tom are all discussing the “Jump to Conclusions Mat” and the pet rock being a million-dollar idea. It’s really not wasting much time if it makes your whole day more productive.
You don’t have to quit your job or simply stop going because you’re feeling burned out. Try the tips I’ve mentioned here before making any rash and potentially catastrophic decisions about your career! Sometimes, all you need is a boost in your work environment to refresh your creativity.
What other tips can you think of to prevent cubicle burnout? How do you keep your day lively? Any other Office Space tips and quotes come to mind?