Why Working in a Cubicle Environment Drains Your Life

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Most of us go to school to end up making other people rich. #cubiclelife

I thought I was hungry but it turns out, it was just sadness. #cubiclelife

I did a hashtag keyword search on Facebook for #cubiclelife and came across the two posts above. The two posts stood out to me because as a former cubicle worker, both of these quotes are true.

After 8 years of working in a cubicle environment, I will share why I personally believe that working in a cubicle environment is sucking the life out of you.

However, to end this post on a positive (and hopeful) note, I will also share how I escaped cubicle life, why I refuse to go back, and what I am doing to obtain lifestyle freedom (and how you can too!)

Cubicle Life is Killing Me

working in a cubicle environment

I know that sounds harsh but it is likely how a lot of cubicle workers feel. Think about what you do all day at work. You sit all day for 8 hours or more!

The most weight I ever gained in my life was due to working in a cubicle. Here’s why:

  • Constant eating and snacking due to boredom
  • Too mentally exhausted and unmotivated to exercise
  • Lack of interest in healthy eating (food was my pleasure)
  • Being sedentary for 8+ hours

For me, being at work was drudgery. I was a web developer/designer. I did the same thing every day. Fixing issues on websites, building websites, and dealing with “fires” (a term for the client isn’t happy.)

Taking a break to walk to Starbucks was a treat. I’d order my expensive sugary coffee drink and enjoy it back at my desk.

In fact, every meal began to become my outlet for happiness. I was eating my feelings. Food was my escape from the unhappiness of working in a cube.

If you are noticing a similar pattern in your life, you can change. You have to make your health more of a priority than anything you are doing at work.

The 3 Things I Disliked Most About Working in a Cubicle Environment

I could generate a list of why working in a cubicle environment is not ideal. You can probably search for these lists and find hundreds of them.

Instead, I am going to focus on the three things I disliked most. These things were the most mentally exhausting factors and what drove me to make a vow to myself to never go back to cubicle life.

Deadlines and Working Late

working in a cubicle

My first cubicle job created the most stress for me. The company had a lot of high-end clients and these clients were catered to.

That meant if we were launching a new website, the deadlines were hard and we had to stick to them. The problem was, when one person on the team lagged, it created delays for all of us.

This seemed to be the issue with every new website launch. The deadline was looming and we had to work late the night before an official web launch.

I’d be so frustrated! Here I worked all day and now I’m told I have to work even longer. Free pizza does not make it any better.

Those were hours of my life taken away. Imagine all of those hours spent working late for someone else. Your employer went home to their loved ones while you devote your time to make your employer rich.

Useless Team Meetings

office meeting

Ugh. How many of these useless meetings have I sat through in my years of cubicle life? Too many to count.

Most of the time, these meetings didn’t result in much. They would be a rehash of what everyone was assigned to do for the day.

The worst meetings I’ve ever endured were daily “stand up meetings”. Every morning we stood in the conference room and each employee would say what their tasks were for the day.

This information was easily found with a few clicks using Basecamp, the online project management software that the company had us using.

I understand that there is a time for an effective meeting. However, in all my years of cubicle life, there wasn’t a meeting that actually resulted in anything productive.

Taking My Work Home with Me

writing notes

There were many times that I’d be working on a project at work and couldn’t figure out an issue that the client needed fixing asap.

Having the strong work ethic that I have, I’d take my work home with me and continue spending time hammering out the issue.

Usually, it was either a coding issue, a design issue or a combination of both. Did I have to work on these projects on my off time? Of course not.

Yet, I knew if I didn’t, I couldn’t meet those hard deadlines. It felt like I didn’t have a choice. Taking my work home added another level of stress.

I remember many times when I still couldn’t figure out the issues. I’d be at work early the next morning still working on what I couldn’t accomplish the night before.

It was mentally draining and added to my unhappiness with cubicle life.

Daydreaming About Being Someplace Else

daydreaming

Besides all of the stress and dislike for cubicle life, I did spend a lot of time daydreaming about being someplace else.

I’d stare out of the window into downtown or out at the trees and wish my life was different. I’d daydream about all of the places I could be rather than where I was.

Eventually, I did escape the cubicle via a layoff. That whole period of my life was indeed stressful. However, I came through it much wiser and truly knowing that cubicle life isn’t for me

In fact, I am not going back to it. Instead, I chose a job completely opposite of what I used to do. I no longer sit all day and most of all, I have zero work-related stress.

What I Do Now To Escape Cubicle Life for Good

The job I have now is simply a transition point for working for myself using the internet. During the layoff period, I decided to invest in my education.

I have always used affiliate marketing to make money online. I never knew how to create a legitimate business out of it until now.

My online business consists of creating niche affiliate websites. They take time up front to develop in terms of getting web traffic and earning income.

However, there is the option to buy a high-quality ready-made niche website in order to save time and earn faster.

Having an online business is going to help me achieve my goal of lifestyle freedom for myself and my family.

Major Update!: Since writing this article, I have made tremendous progress in my online business. I am now making a consistent income online and you can too! I accomplish this with niche affiliate blogs.

Lifestyle freedom is the freedom to dictate your time. Having the freedom to choose when to work and when to play. Not asking for permission to take a vacation because life is a vacation.

My goal is to help anyone else who feels trapped by cubicle living to begin making changes to escape the cubicle once and for all.

If surviving cubicle life is no longer working for you, consider starting an online business. It is something you can do while you are making ends meet.

About Eartha

Hey there! My name is Eartha. I'm a full-time internet marketer. I used niche affiliate websites to go from working a physically demanding retail job to working for myself. Get a jump start on your own affiliate website with a ready-made niche affiliate website (comprehensive training and support included.)

8 comments

  1. very glad to see you escaped that cubicle. i’m actually still pretty fresh out of high school and am currently enrolled in junior college so there has been a sense of urgency for me to get into the workforce but i never could stand the idea of getting a cubicle job. i have an older brother who has some kind of accounting job that requires him to sit behind a desk for hours at a time every day and he has the same exact grievances

    1. Hi Bob,

      Working in a cubicle all day is draining. There definitely has to be a work/life balance. For me, being laid off was a way out of the cube. I decided that I no longer wanted to work in the corporate world any longer. Best of luck in whichever field you go into. I do recommend having a side hustle to have something to fall back on. Plus, you never know if your side hustle can turn into your full-time gig.

  2. Some one once said either you live your dreams or some one else and his is so true, we go to work to help meet the goals or the dreams of the boss and then at the end of the day we end up feeling unfilled. But it is good to take charge step outside of the box and then do what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Joining a community like wealthy affiliate can help anyone to get on the road to success by teaching all that you need to know wealthy affiliate is the place where to be. Because at wealthy affiliate, dreams do become a reality.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Norman. I’ve spent a lot of years working hard for other people. That is why I changed gears and am focusing 100% on my online business. While I do have a job to make ends meet, it isn’t nearly as stressful as my previous jobs. It gives me time to work hard on my own business. Wealthy Affiliate has definitely put me on the right track. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Glad to hear that you have gotten out of that environment Eartha. I am fortunate enough to never have been in a cubical office type of environment. I was close though, I almost went to college for computer science because I wanted to learn how to make video games. I changed my mind at the last moment, however, because I thought to myself what that would be like.

    Likely, I would end up coding for Microsoft programs I don’t truly care about, but even if I did end up in graphic design, I’d be spending 80 hour weeks, maybe even more during crunch time to finish a video game project, giving my life away for what would probably be less than $50k/year.

    I do know how work can drain your energy despite this. I worked on a towboat in the barge industry, 80 hour weeks. I never wanted to take the time to cook a decent meal, and would just heat something up in the frying pan within 10 minutes, or just throw a pizza in. Wealthy Affiliate has changed a lot of that for me, and I am now living a much healthier lifestyle with more time on my hands because of all the things I have learned here.

    1. Hi Jacob,

      I too am also glad to hear that you have more time and freedom to live a healthier lifestyle and to also do the things that you enjoy most.

      You used to work a lot of hours and I know how exhausting and draining that can be. It feels like you never have any time to even do the simple things to take care of yourself.

      Wealthy Affiliate taught me how to create an online business and with hard work, I am now making tremendous progress.

      I now have much more time to focus more on my business as well as to spend with my loved ones. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I wish you much success in your online business!

  4. I came across this article and couldn’t relate more! I work in a call center as a healthcare analyst and physician trainer. I constantly get treated like crap by docs and am forced to be tied to my desk for 9 hours a day. I have gained more weight and become more depressed than any other time in my life! I am too emotionally drained to go to the gym or do anything other than stress eat at home.
    I am working on following my passions and becoming an online health coach and personal trainer, but some days I feel too mentally exhausted to apply any energy to that. I am contemplating leaving my current job for a less stressful one so I can have some mental energy freed up. Cube life sucks!!!!

    1. Hey April,

      I think the worst part of working in a cubicle is that it is the same thing day after day. It feels like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. I’m glad that you are working on your passions. Create a plan for yourself and follow through. That is what I had to do and I am so much happier for it. You can accomplish your goals as long as you stick with them and do not give up!

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you much success in your journey!

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