Is it too late to transform your boring workplace?


It’s Wednesday at 2pm and you are bored. You glance at the rows of desks where your co-workers sit quietly transfixed on their glowing monitors, as if they are all being beckoned to “go to the light”. A spreadsheet gleams back at you from your own screen, the sexy allure of its many complex calculations has faded long ago. You start to shake with Facebook withdrawal, as it has been 40 minutes since you checked your last pithy post that has received only one like...from your mom.

You think back to the days when you interviewed for this job. You were asked something like, why do you want to work for this company? Your answer was inspired by genuine enthusiasm, but now you consider any option to shake things up, even writing a Jerry McGuire style mission statement to rile up the masses. You reconsider, but realize that it’s up to you to keep up your enthusiasm. Below are some great ideas for doing just that.

The first thing you need to do is stand up. Your body was not designed to be slumped in a chair, shoulders hunched over, while you type incessantly. Standing and moving around a bit reminds you that you are indeed a living organism. This also gets the lymphatic system moving, which keeps you healthier as well.

While you’re up there, try putting on some music and starting a brief impromptu dance party, like they do at Haberman, a Minnesota based marketing agency. (This may seem odd and even bothersome for some folks. Depending on your culture, you may want to check with management first and schedule the dance in advance). Otherwise, you can put your headphones on and have your own dance party. Your gyrations are sure to entertain those around you who may also be bored.

Now that your body is moving and you have gotten your dose of play for the day, it’s time to get creative! There are probably people on your team or on different teams, who are going to brainstorm in the next few days. Request to sit in on those meetings and contribute to the brainstorm session, whether it be a new marketing strategy or product changes. You will feel more fulfilled in your role because you will gain a greater sense of how your efforts fit with those of your co-workers on other teams.

You can also change things up during time away from your desk. Try a new local coffee shop in the morning or a restaurant for lunch. Or start a lunch and learn program, where different team members can share their expertise. Meals are a great opportunity to meet new people or strengthen existing relationships with coworkers. More meaningful relationships at work can improve your satisfaction and productivity.

Part of the rejuvenating power of a vacation comes from simply disrupting the patterns that lull you into complacency. Breaking your routine on a more consistent basis will break through the boredom so that you feel happier and more fulfilled at work.