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Fun workplaces are a nightmare for ADHD

Today, I wanted to talk about the worst office I ever worked in.

It was “a fun workplace,” which is what attracted me to the job in the first place. It was also impossible to do good work there.

Let me set the stage…

  • Open office
  • Xbox, vintage arcade games, and skeeball
  • All you can eat snack and drinks
  • Random NERF battles in the office
  • Fun music playing all the time
  • Beer cart every friday afternoon

Let me just say up front: video games, skeeball, NERF battles, social hours… all extremely fun. This place was 100 percent, absolutely a fun place to work.

It was also impossible to get meaningful work done as a person with ADHD.

  • The speaker was right next to my desk. The loud noise made it impossible to concentrate.
  • An open office meant anyone could walk up to you and interrupt at any time for any reason. Nearly impossible to actually get into hyperfocus, and when you did…
  • Our team lead loved to shoot NERF darts at peoples heads “when they looked in-the-zone.” Asshole, it took me an hours to get into the flow!
  • Distractions abound! Food, games, drinks, noise! Imagine trying to get work done in an arcade.
  • They had a strict “no work from home” policy.

They had these tiny little rooms for impromptu meetings. I eventually started squatting in them for hours so that I actually get work done.

Then I quit about 3 months into the job, because that’s a hell of a way to try to work. I switched to a workplace that let me work from wherever and whenever I did my best work, and I thrived there for nearly a decade before leaving to go full-time with my own business.