"Most modern office layouts seem to be designed to screw with people's fight or flight instincts all day."
And I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Facing a wall in an open office space causes me to react defensively to noises around me. Is someone sneaking up on me? What's happening in my immediate surroundings? This is not rational, but I don't see any way to make myself stop other than to "handicap" my senses via headphones. Thankfully, I don't get reflections off my monitor, the wall, etc. When our cat stays out all night, he invariably comes in and sleeps for hours, even in the summer. We suppose he doesn't sleep while outside because he must constantly be aware of his surroundings. In an open office environment, I feel like our cat.
Never accept that positioning. Constant stress hormones are very bad for you and I don't see why shortening my life by 6 months to many years is worth them being able to sneak up on me and scare me 1x a week while I'm working.
Move your computer so you can see people and have a flat surface behind you.
I had one of those. If anything, it made me MORE paranoid. Before, I only responded to noise. Easy enough to fix, put on the headphones. But with the mirror, I can now see constant movement out of the corner of my eye. all. day. long.