3

I have been employed at my workplace for 4 years. During those 4 years, I have moved twice. Originally, I started in an office without windows. Then, I was moved to an office with windows. My overall well-being was much improved in the office with windows. However, when our VP decided to move into the same building and bring her closest work friends with her, we were forced to move yet again. She wanted my office - with windows - to become the "conference room." According to people here long before me, it is not likely that it will actually be used for a conference room (based on their experience).

So I am back in the office without windows and in the same room as 5 other people. It is a small office. Every conversation and phone call is amplified, the heating/cooling is not consistent, the florescent lighting and yellow walls cause headaches. However, our other colleagues - of the same rank and position - were moved upstairs into a spacious, newly carpeted office with 6 windows and larger desks. They do not even have to turn on the lights; instead, they can use the pleasant natural lighting. Despite being in the same office as each other, they are so far apart from one another that conversations/phone calls are not distracting.

There is a night and day difference between the working conditions of the two rooms. I always do as I am told without complaining; however, I feel anxious and depressed since the move. My colleague has said he feels the same, but he is now apathetic to the move and does not feel it is worth challenging.

How can I request fair working conditions in a respectful way for everyone? Every time I start to say something, I back off, get scared, or start tearing up as part of my anxiety.

  • On a separate note, you may want to work on how you deal with confrontation and your confidence. I hate confrontation with difficult people too, but people are sadly inherently selfish and they will take advantage if you don't speak up. – jcmack Mar 13 '18 at 17:24
  • Is the space competitive? What I mean is some offices have nice spaces but only fewer people get to sit. Are you being pushed out for those reasons? – Dan Mar 13 '18 at 17:31
  • @Dan It is equal. Including me, there are 6 people in my office. In the upstairs office there are 6 people. Our supervisor made the decision who moved where. 2 people in my current office have never moved. I am senior to three people that moved upstairs, so it seems random. – th85 Mar 13 '18 at 17:39
  • define "fair". That's the problem. This question is too broad. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Mar 13 '18 at 17:46
  • Yeah there are inter office battles raging all the time with preferred seating. In some cases just being the loudest wins. Talk about health problems, etc. – Dan Mar 13 '18 at 17:50
3

You should make your case on two fronts:

  1. Reasons your health benefits from having natural light.
  2. Reasons you'd be more productive in the preferred environment.

Once you feel prepared with your reasons, go ahead and make your case. I would shy away from the fairness argument - if half the people have to work in one place and another half in the other, then some people will the same rank and position will have to work in less favorable conditions than others.

I always do as I am told without complaining

I recommend against this. Sometimes, when decisions that are going to be unpopular have to be made, whether or not someone is likely to complain becomes a factor. Additionally, sometimes things that are viewed as preferred treatment are available to the first X people that ask for it.

Finally and unfortunately, the best time to challenge this decision was when it was being made and carried out, and not after the fact. Your chances for success would be greater if you'd made these objections reasonably close the to the first you heard of this. Generally speaking, that is the most effective time to attempt to influence changes / decisions / plans / etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.