Things it’s OK to do at work

Most of us are at least 2 people:

Work you.
Home you.

Home you is relaxed and knows just what to say. Home you has a comfortable spot on the couch. Home you knows that sometimes it’s perfectly OK to add that third scoop of ice cream, an extra-large plop of hot fudge, and cry your eyes out watching Forrest Gump (again).

Work you is tense, always on, and worried about what the guy in the next cubicle thinks. Work you sits in an ergonomically correct chair. Work you wouldn’t dream of having a bad day at the office, choosing instead to grit your teeth, put on a happy face, and power through.

But we all know people who are as comfortable in their own skin at work as they are at home. They’re not that way because they’re better than you. They’re just that way because they’ve given themselves a secret list. A list of things it’s OK to do at work.

Here’s part of the list. Take it to heart.

It’s OK for you to:

Say “I don’t know”
Stay home when you’re sick
Say “I don’t understand”
Ask what acronyms stand for
Ask for help
Have quiet days
Have loud days
Say “no” when you’re too busy
Go for a walk
Say “yes” anytime anyone does a coffee run
Have off days
Have days off

I’ll send you the rest of the list if you’re interested. Email me at In the meantime: pick anything off the list and try it this week at the office. It might not make your Herman Miller chair any more comfortable, but it just might make you a little more…you.