I've worked at my current job for about 4 months. My previous stints are 10 years and 6 years.

After my interview, I asked to walk through the office and see what it is like. Unfortunately, my now-boss walked me through a completely different part of the office from where we sit, on another floor, which is quiet and well lit. I accepted the offer and for the last 4 months have been working in an area with no lighting, no windows, and constant loud hyena laughter/shouting/yelling for 6+ hours a day (these conversations are not work related).

On top of this, the company does not allow working from home. I'm not allowed to work from any other part of the building either- such as the patio outside, the cafeteria (which has a full wall of windows), or any other space that is more functional than the office.

Additionally, my desk is nearly at shoulder height and my chair is very short - it's not broken, they are all like this - leading me to have shoulder and neck pain from holding my arms up at an awkward angle all day.

I'm basically unable to get any work done.

I've addressed all these issues with my boss over the last 4 months and every time he just shrugs it off. His primary solution is to assign everyone less work to account for the "distractions".

My predecessor, the last person to have this job, left after 4 or 5 months. The position was open for two years before my company hired me. I should think the 2 year wait should give me some additional leverage.

What can I do to make clear to my boss that (a) l I'm on the verge of resigning over these issues (b) he has to fix this, with the solutions I have proposed to him in the past or with some of his own ideas.

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    Location is US, state of Wisconsin.
    – Max A.
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:14
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    This comment may be removed (sorry), but do you by any chance work for Epic? I'm very curious about that company which is why I ask.
    – ribs2spare
    Oct 17, 2019 at 17:58
  • @joestrazzere because I don't want to leave a job so soon after just 4 months.
    – Max A.
    Oct 17, 2019 at 18:28
  • @MaxA. is that because you feel like future employers will see you as disloyal before you hit the interview? Oct 17, 2019 at 18:35
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    @ribs2spare poor lighting, no/few windows, and loud unproductive conversations. I've worked in multiple places there. Oct 18, 2019 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


my now-boss walked me through a completely different part of the office...His primary solution is to assign everyone less work to account for the "distractions".

Your boss is a deceitful moron and deserves none of the respect and restraint you have so far shown.

I would normally advocate communication and everything suggested by Sourav Ghosh, but in this case, if everything is as you described, I think you should look for another job. Take your time to get it right and most importantly learn from this experience. It's probably a bit much to demand to see the specific equipment / location, but you'd have to be quite unlucky to get this again.

Prospective employers will ask why you're leaving after such a short time, and I would be honest; job and environment were not as described. Don't bash your current employer; that just looks bad, but if they ask for specifics, mention the environment and ask if theirs is similar.

Good luck with everything.

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    Just my two cents - sometimes you can ask to see the team, or team's space. Not equipment assigned to you specifically, mind. I work as a software developer and when I was starting to sell my services to a company with a big warehouse, I was even offered to see into the warehouse before starting my job. And, mind, I did ask for windows in the office space. It was met with puzzled "why do you ask", but when I told that once I ended in a windowless shoebox, they gladly invited me to walk around and see that all walls are mostly windows.
    – Mołot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:56
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    Yes, @Mołot. +1. Asking when you can give a specific reason why definitely helps.
    – Justin
    Oct 17, 2019 at 9:17
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    Also, when you leave. Do mention the specific reasons Including the false tour to HR or at an exit interview or anything. It will not help you but maybe finally someone somewhere within the company will get tired of hearing the same reason over and over again and do something about it.
    – user180146
    Oct 17, 2019 at 14:05

Healthy workplace == Healthy and Motivated workforce == Productivity. There is no two things about it.

Bring it to the notice of your superiors immediately (this time officially, by setting up a proper meeting through email invite, for example). After all, it's your organization's responsibility to provide you with proper working conditions. If you immediate boss does not provide enough attentions to it, have a meeting with the HR people - this is not an issue that should be taken lightly.

  • Do not bring up the topic of resignation into the discussion (i.e., don't sound like a ransom call). Just mention how the present condition adversely affects the productivity and the physical and mental health of the employee (you).
  • Be clear and frank about the unhealthy part of the environment and provide a couple of suggestions (again) on what and how things can be changed to make it a better workplace.

Basically, before taking the final call, ensure you have raised concerns, suggested ways to improve the same and it did not work. Leaves a positive sign from your side.

Finally, even after the attempts if the situation does not change, you need to take a call. Unhealthy work conditions are not to be overlooked.

  • "suggested ways to improve" - Any idea how to improve on the act that area simply has no windows? Because I don't believe any team that currently has them will be eager to give up their space...
    – Mołot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:22
  • @Mołot Yes, by moving the team to the location which was demo-ed during the on-boarding, or, expanding the office space to have more locations like that. What other teams would do or not, how they will do - not a headache for OP , that is something for the organization / admin people to take care of. Oct 17, 2019 at 8:45
  • This suggestion simply does not look like something that is possible within this organization. OPs predecessor quit probably over the same issues and they did nothing for the two years position has been open. Nothing, but lie to OP, that is.
    – Mołot
    Oct 17, 2019 at 8:48
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    @Mołot That's why I highlighted the officially part, and suggested to involve the HR people, so as to make clear the attempts made from OP's side to solve the problem, not only complaining about it. Oct 17, 2019 at 8:53
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    The best solution here, play both options. Try to improve things, make clear what's going wrong. You can still leave if nothing changes but then you will feel the satisfaction of not having given up without a try. Perhaps you made a step towards a change, who knows. Someone planning to leave can allow to be honest as nobody else. Don't waste this chance. Remember why are so many idiots in management positions? Just because they can - noone stops them.
    – puck
    Oct 17, 2019 at 15:26

What can I do to (a) make clear to my boss that I'm on the verge of resigning over these issues (b) that he has to fix this, with the solutions I have proposed to him in the past or with some of his own ideas.

Your projected outcomes are unrealistic. Neither of these will eventuate. They're not happening for your colleagues, your predecessor or you.

Your best way forwards is to find a more suitable job and then quietly resign. Write this off to experience.

  • 1
    This behavior helps to keep inappropriate people in positions they shouldn't be in.
    – puck
    Oct 18, 2019 at 4:22

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