Thrive In Chaos: Why Some People Just Aren't Born To Work In An Office

by Dan Scotti

Offices are typically viewed as places of production.

Everyone checks in at the same time. Everyone is expected to pull his or her weight. Everyone is expected to follow the code of the company. And this is the way many offices operate on a day-to-day basis.

For some, this style of work is desired. I mean, punching into an office at the same time, five times a week, certainly provides a sense of structure in one’s life.

But then again, there are a lot of us who simply can’t find it inside us to “lather, rinse, repeat” for extended periods of time.

“To each his (or her) own,” they say, and your personal place of work is probably the greatest example of this concept.

Ultimately, an office can only be as productive as the work that gets done inside it, and if you find you don’t work best inside regular office conditions, then you would probably be best served by looking to work somewhere better suited to your own values.

Some of us just weren’t born to work in an office, and hey, you might fall into this category. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just a matter of what works best for you. Here’s why you might not work best in the classic office setting.

You can’t stay in one place for too long.

It’s not the idea of working five days each week that’s particularly troubling for you; it’s more so the thought of being in the same place from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, that really makes you cringe.

You like to consider yourself a rolling stone – and you can’t be confined to the same place for too long, or else you’ll go stir-crazy.

You simply don’t feel productive in the typical “work environment,” at a cubicle or any place where you’re expected to pay attention to someone else’s agenda.

You’re more or less nocturnal.

It’s been said truly intelligent people all tend to sleep later, and you’re certainly not the exception. You typically find yourself most productive between the hours of 11 pm and 4 am, and this has never truly coincided with your work schedule.

Especially not with your morning alarm blaring each morning at 6:05 am. You’d rather wake up naturally and attack the day as it comes to you, as opposed to forcing yourself through the motions each morning solely to punch in on time.

The way you see things, productivity shouldn’t be restricted to a 9-to-5. If you feel particularly inspired at midnight, that’s when you’ll do your work. At the same time, if it’s 10:30 am, and you’re just not feeling it, you don’t see the purpose of trying to force anything.

Dress codes aren't for you.

Dress shoes? Dress pants? A suit? In the middle of summer? Hell no.

In your mind, work efficiency is directly related to your own personal comfort, and you’re simply unwilling to compromise either of those factors by working in an office. You’re more cut from the Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg variety of cloth – which is typically fleece, at that – and take pride in coziness.

You’ve generally been a proponent of keeping business about business and matters of fashion entirely separated.

You understand the idea of making good first impressions and allowing your personal appearance to lead the way, but you also realize the importance of degrees of freedom between your legs.

You thrive outside of your comfort zone.

You’ve always felt life is experience, and you feel it becomes stagnant once you fall victim to the same monotonous routine on a daily basis. You need to constantly be experiencing new things.

Whether that means meeting new people or traveling to different places, you feel true success lies within your ability to thrive outside of your comfort zone – as opposed to the sitting in the same cubicle.

You’re a “creative."

When you work in an office, you’ll most likely be required to conform to your respective office’s “way of doing things.” While this typically won’t be a problem for most, all your life you’ve always taken pride in your ability to do things differently.

Simply put, you think differently, and you take pride in that. Your ability to think outside the box is one of your favorite qualities, and you hate the idea that you’d have to thwart any of your abstract creativity to “fit in” inside an office.

It’s not that you’re incapable of following direction, either. You'd just would rather work in an environment that promoted creativity as opposed to a business plan.

You work best outside of the lines.

You hate the idea of perfect order. You need a little bit of chaos. You work best in your messy apartment, with papers strewn about the floor and a pencil in your ear.

Offices aren’t very conducive to your style of productivity – and likewise, you’ve never been able to be too productive in any office.

In order for you to feel fully inspired, you can’t be bound to restrictions of any type. You crave the flexibility to be able to pack your bag and leave for a different city, without having to send an e-mail with proper warning in advance.

At the end of the day, you’re a free spirit, and offices make you feel somewhat caged.