Workplace conditions

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    How important are workplace conditions for you? Can you oversee negative details of your workplace?

    At my new job there are some things that make me sad. First of all, the building is depressive. Long and dark office corridors, huge gloomy featureless rooms. When i walk there i get the feeling like the building is either abandoned or in phase of renovation. There are no windows and no air conditioning. I and other 10-15 people sit there with no enough oxygen to feel energetic while working. Because of lack of the windows its not bright enough, the lamps are cheap.
    Its open space and i sit near the sales folk. All day long i hear sounds of their work “Hello, its company X, would like to work with us?”. I also sit near the kitchen door and it creaks all the time. Its hard to concentrate. There is no microwave or fridge and i have to bring with me a huge and heavy thermos that keeps my food warm so i wouldnt have to spend my salary on street food. And finally – almost all companies in my country have 1 hours lunchbreak. But here we have only 30 minutes and we still work 9 hours everyday.

    Its very hard for me to get used to it because before i worked:
    At cozy little office all by myself in silence. I always opened a window to let the fresh air into the room.
    At fancy A class business center. Everything there was designed to make you feel comfortable and important. There were air conditioners in every room, bright colors everywhere, big windows from 35 floor with nice view and sunlight.

    Even with everything mentioned i kind of think that i should tolerate everything because its valuable working experience. I am planning to buy earphones and listen to music because i’ve seen one girl who did the same there. But there is no way for me to create more oxygen there. My goal is to work there at least for 6 months, maybe more. I hope that someday they will buy air conditioner. What do you think?

    Peter Reece

    Hi Vlad. What an awful sounding workplace. It doesn’t sound like your employer has heard of the effect of the immediate environment on productivity. It also doesn’t sound like they’re that interested in their employees. Has anyone talked to the managers/owners to discuss ways of getting oxygen in there?



    I will discuss it with my supervisor sometime in future, but right now i am the new guy and its not right to complain just yet. I need to gain a reputation of valuable worker, someone who deserve efforts of supervisors.

    John Coppin

    Hi Vlad. Surely this can’t be the UK or US or any European country. In the UK those work conditions would be jumped on, that is if they were brought to the notice of the authorities.
    Gaining a reputation as a good and valuable worker has not got a lot to do with lack of oxygen or a good working environment. You will be spending a lot of time there so have a word with the management. A nice polite enquiry should not go amiss.


    Hi Vlad,

    “I and other 10-15 people sit there with no enough oxygen to feel energetic while working.”

    Since you mentioned you are new and not yet in a position to talk to the management how about considering something like befriending some or gathering all of these 10-15 people to discuss this out with the Management. I’m sure if its about oxygen then they too might be having the same issue. When that discussion happens you can sneak-in your points too or at least nod in agreement if you are not comfortable because you are new.
    If all these people are hesitating and cannot go and speak up verbally then write a letter with the list of issues which will not contain any single person’s name at the bottom but will have the team’s/project’s name and hand it over to the management showing that it is on behalf of all.


    Peter Reece

    If you don’t want to approach the supervisor (I can understand your reasons) but you want something to change then in your position, I would sit down with a piece of paper and ask yourself what exactly you want to achieve, whether it is in your control and then what you can do about it?
    1. What exactly do I want to achieve?
    2. How much of that is within my control (and therefore achievable)?
    3. What can I do about it?

    With the last question, challenge yourself to come up with at least ten different things you could do and then see which you think is best to concentrate on.

    Give it a try if you really want something to change and come back and tell us what you have decided.

    Good luck



    Hi Vlad,

    Your workplace conditions are EXTREMELY important, especially when you are spending so much time there! I can relate to your blight somewhat – even though my conditions aren’t quite that bad. We have air conditioning here, but they keep it as cold as a meat locker. There’s also black mold present in the floor above me, which I’m sure can somehow circulate down to where I’m at. Before I asked to be moved, I was basically stuck back in a corner of the office with a cubicle all around me – next to an area that was being used for storage of dusty decorations that had been taken down off the walls and never put back up. There are other very negative things here, too. So yeah, I can relate somewhat. I’ve stuck it out for over two years now (almost 3) due to my schedule and other personal reasons.

    Here’s what I’ve decided and this would be my advice to you, too. You have to decide what is and what is not in your control. If you feel that there’s really nothing you can do about how things are run at your job, or that the owners aren’t interested in making conditions better for their employees, then I would look for employment elsewhere. It’s what I plan to do when the timing is right. I spent many months being so angry about my current situation, until I finally realized that being upset wasn’t helping or solving anything. I also realized that there was nothing that I alone could do to make changes at my job. That’s when I knew that the only solution was to move on.

    However, since this job is new for you, maybe there is a way for you to make a change. If you really want to keep the job, and feel that at some point you could make a suggestion to management, then by all means I would try that if I were you. It nothing changes, though, then you shouldn’t have to jeopardize your health for the sake of this job, especially if there are others available. Good Luck!

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Rebecca.
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