Apparently, this is how you should avoid workplace stress

‘Ah, 4.30pm, time for my daily afternoon cry in the toilets’


Did you know that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime?

I didn’t know that. Take a moment out from what you’re doing right now, put down your tea, relax in your swivel chair, survey your desk. You will spend 90,000 hours of your lifetime in this spot, or in one similar to it. You can probably see your entire miserable life stretching out in front of you, measured out in coffee spoons, the only respite being the biscuits someone brings in on a Wednesday afternoon to cheer up the office. You’ll be here until you are married with kids or withered and alone. Eventually, you will become the kind of person who cares about your colleagues stealing your milk and brings your lunch in tupperware. Are you stressed out?

Luckily, someone has produced an infographic that outlines how to avoid a sense of impending doom and panic for as long as possible!



Look how disengaged the workplace stress cartoon is. His MacBook is on the floor and he doesn’t even care. There is coffee everywhere. He hasn’t even emptied his bin. He’s got an ashtray, he’s so disengaged he’s ignoring the July 2007 law which made it illegal to smoke in all enclosed workplaces. “When you start to disengage with your work or personal problems by ignoring or avoiding them, burnout warning bells should start ringing”, it advises.


If he turned the chart upside down, it would be really positive, but he can’t see this, presumably because of work-related stress and burnout.

Blunted emotions 

By the time you’ve stapled your hand to the desk without noticing the pain, it’s probably time to take a holiday, isn’t it?

What you should do about it!

Actively address your problems 

10,000 workers per year drop dead at their desks as a result of 60- to 70-hour work weeks in Japan. The phenomenon is known as “karoshi”. But don’t address your problems like that, haha! Be like the cheerful cartoon in this picture, and begin to cover your work station in post it notes. Once you have things written down on post-it notes, they’re practically done. His MacBook is back on his desk and everything. Look how put together he is.

In this office, they dealt with their workplace stress by creating superhero murals out of all their post-its. Maybe that’s what he plans to do.

Slow it down

If your cup of tea usually takes you five minutes, extend it to fifteen, have a gossip in the kitchen, drink three more a day. Spend time in the great outdoors, on long leisurely walks which mean you’re perpetually fifteen minutes late for work. You probably need to spend more time with your friends, why not take off early for the pub on Friday? Someone has mentioned that your boss seems annoyed at how much you have slowed it down, but it’s important to take a few minutes every day to see their anxieties for what they are: irrational and exaggerated.

Reevaluate your priorities 

“If work stress is affecting your personal life”, advises Instant Office, “then it’s time to move on”. The little cartoon man is in a hammock now, drinking a tropical drink. How did he pay for the hammock and the tropical drink? This isn’t explained. He looks pretty relaxed, but I bet he doesn’t have much to do. If it was a real holiday, by day five he’d be sunburnt, bored of the WHSmith bestseller he bought at the airport, and using the hotel WiFi to check if anyone in marketing’s stolen that new leather seat he’s just broken in. He should go back to work, to be honest.