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    This Woman's Post About Working Under Her Desk Went Viral On LinkedIn, And It's Started An Important Conversation About The Way We Work

    "Find the way to work that works for you and keep going."

    Working in an open office environment doesn't always work out so well for everyone. From bright fluorescent lights and microwave smells to the fact that you can hear so. many. sounds, this type of workplace can be incredibly distracting.

    NBC / Via

    So when Minnie Katzen Mayer shared on LinkedIn how she manages overstimulation at work, the post quickly blew up. She wrote, "Whenever I do this at work, I get weird looks. I mean, I get it: I’m 36, a fully grown adult, with a perfectly adequate ergonomic desk chair, sitting under my standing desk."

    Minnie Katzen Mayer/LinkedIn

    "Here’s what they don’t see:
    - Stress
    - Noise
    - Bright ceiling lights
    - A meeting that didn’t go so well
    - A project that feels overwhelming
    - Constant movement around me

    In a word, overstimulation. 

    When I need to drown everything out, I take my laptop and sit under the desk; I enjoy the relative peace and physical boundaries it provides. I sit under my standing desk until my lower back reminds me I’m 36, a fully grown adult, with a perfectly adequate ergonomic desk chair."

    And she included a photo of her under-desk setup, which looks like a nice and cozy little work fort. Personally, I might add a cushion to sit on, but overall, I could totally see myself getting stuff done in a space like this.

    Minnie sitting under her desk with her laptop, getting work done
    Minnie Katzen Mayer/LinkedIn

    Over 100,000 people reacted to the post, with more than 4,000 comments — the majority of which were positive and understanding.


    One person wrote, "While our day-to-day struggles are different between all of us, the theme is the same: Don't sacrifice your wellness for productivity and don't sacrifice your productivity for wellness. Find the way to work that works for you and keep going."

    And others rightly noted that, for many of us, having access to different kinds of environments throughout the day can be really key to getting focused. But our workspaces often aren't designed for these kinds of changes.


    One commenter wrote, "People have phases and need silence and quiet as well as stimulation and noise to find the balance they need to work in their optimal window. ... There are tasks I can only do in total silence, while there are things I happily do with music in the background. The real problem is that neither offices or our workspaces at home are designed to give us that balance: they are all-or-nothing setup[s]."

    And many people who've returned to the office commented to say how much more distracting these environments feel after a couple years of working from home.

    One person wrote, "I was in the office just yesterday and was so distracted by every single noise that was happening around me. After two years of being in control of my environment, where it's safe and comfortable, it's really hard to go back to a place that is bright, loud, and overall distracting."

    Of course, because this is the internet, some commenters were less understanding of Minnie's productivity hack. But LinkedIn users responded to the negativity with professional-grade clapbacks that are truly a delight to read.


    One commenter wrote, "Nothing more mature than hiding from your problems under the table." Another replied, "Nothing more ignorant than a man telling a woman how she is allowed to cope when her world gets to be too much."

    And others said Minnie's post inspired them to try finding a dark and quiet nook to regain their focus in distracting open office environments.


    "I've always struggled in open concept office settings. The visual noise is the worst, not to mention all the auditory noise. If I ever have to go back in, I may try this arrangement," one commenter wrote.

    Minnie told BuzzFeed, "I was truly humbled by the massive response to this post. So many people reached out to share their own experiences and how they cope with stress and stimulation in the workplace."

    Antonio_diaz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    As far as her officemates, Minnie said, "No one has ever said anything negative. I've gotten some curious looks and a couple of playful questions. My friends now recognize it for what it is, and occasionally ask to join me or if I need anything."

    She said she started taking some under-the-desk time because she had an intuition that it was what she needed. "I think there's something very natural and instinctive in finding comfort in enclosed spaces."

    HBO / Via

    "The first time I did it, I really just needed a few minutes on my own to think and strategize for a big oncoming change. I had the overwhelming sensation that taking a few moments to sit under my desk would help me get my thoughts in order. It did, and 10 minutes later I got up feeling reenergized and focused."

    "Working in a high-paced environment is exciting and extremely rewarding, but taking a minute to think, breathe, recenter, is something everyone needs to do once in a while. Some go out for a cigarette, some go for a walk; I sit under my desk."

    CBC / Via

    "I feel very well supported by my employer. We're offered a flexible balance between coming into the office and working from home and are able to choose the setup that works best for us. For me, it's all about celebrating our differences. Different things work for different people, and it's about employers acknowledging that and offering different work environments and solutions that could cater to different needs."

    Now I'm curious, what helps you get centered and regain your focus during the workday? Share what works for you in the comments!