Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

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Imagiton
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Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

Postby Imagiton » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:00 pm

Hi Everyone,

It seems just recently that I'm really clashing with a particular person in my office. Any advice would be welcome.

Lunch times - I either slink off on my own and go for a walk around the local nature reserve or sit with my team members in the café. I've now done this route SO MANY TIMES and I'm not often in the mood to chat in the café - I need 'me' space to function and I just end up frazzled / facing burnout without it.

Sitting at desk isn't an option due to remaining colleagues & I will be given work to do. I need to physically move away.

Any ideas on a diplomatic way of either getting 'me' space on site or what to do in general. Could vary the walk and head to a nearby canal to keep things different or maybe introduce ipod / headphones combo.

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AcousticPond
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Re: Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

Postby AcousticPond » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:08 pm

I agree that sitting at your desk isn't an ideal option because of the extra work thing (god forbid anyone should think you have nothing better to do, like eat). Before I could really give any practical suggestions, more information would be needed - how big is your office building (small, family-owned 2-room building, or large corporate 23-floor monolith? Something in between)? Are there any public places that are close by (library, coffee shop, restaurant, etc)?

When I worked for a larger company, I tried to take my lunch break at a different time from anyone else (still do, even though I have my own office where I can close my door). That way, I could still use the kitchen facilities, but avoided the lunch rush, and any icky, energy-sucking coworkers. Not sure if that's an option for you?

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Imagiton
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Re: Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

Postby Imagiton » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:30 am

Hi AP,

My office is basically a series of open plan offices, it can get very noisy & hectic with no places to hide. In the middle is the staircases, there is an atrium with chairs but this is very open and in the main thoroughfare to everywhere. If you want to get to anywhere, chances are you'll go through the atrium so not great for quiet. Then the café is pretty hectic too. With everything being so open plan, it can feel like there is nowhere to retreat to where you can't be found (except a toilet or booking a meeting room, but our meeting room have glass walls too and in high demand, so can't be booked for quiet lunches).

Getting out of the office seems to work best. There are two restaurants opposite and busy pub ran by my company about 10 mins walk (lots of work bods eat here), but no neutral coffee shops. My gym is a short walk away, I guess I could always go sit in their coffee shop? I tend to get left to my own devices there just to sit and read, without obligation to buy anything because I'm a member and its part coffee shop / part chill space.

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AcousticPond
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Re: Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

Postby AcousticPond » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:36 pm

I'd try different approaches and just see what's most successful in getting you some 'you' time. From the sound of it, the gym might be your best bet.

Your office floor plan sounds like an absolute nightmare. Open-plan offices have been proven to hurt productivity and cause stress, and for an introvert, they're utterly horrible.

As a last-ditch effort (if you're truly desperate), if there's a private bathroom (one without stalls), I'd lock myself in there for 15-20 minutes. If anyone questions it, blame it on a bad sandwich, or something! :D Sometimes, that 15 minutes will give you enough of a sanity boost to hold you out until you get home.

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Imagiton
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Re: Feeling Frustrated Over Lunch Breaks

Postby Imagiton » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:19 pm

I think the idea behind our office plan was to encourage inter-departmental bonding and a feeling of openness... which sounds great on paper until you realise, like you say, that it hurts productivity and induces stress! The amount of times that I've been in flow and been distracted by a random convo. I was reading about this in Quiet: The Power of the Introvert in a Wold that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Open plan offices are being built on ideas circulated in 1980's, despite that studies continually prove that they don't generate the intended results.

I've tried varying my nature walk a little this week and discovering some new routes. There are some disabled toilets around that I could potentially sit in. There are quiet rooms dotted around as well, which I sometimes retreat to when work becomes intense and the phone is ringing constantly with little sillies.


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