More and more business are using cubicles to maximize space and cost. The cubicle has become part of the configuration most businesses use, and manager’s are now finding themselves in cubicles as well.
We need to remember to respect each other’s space and to be aware that we really don’t have 4-walls for privacy. Maybe you have the person that likes to “talk” to their computer. Or how about the one that likes to eat garlic-laden food for lunch at their desk. Or maybe the one who’s cell phone plays Techno each time a friend calls in. And one of my favorites’ the person who has a cold with non-stop sneezing and coughing all-day.
Just what are the rules for cubicle etiquette:
- Talk softly – no one likes to hear your conversation with your doctor, friends, or family. Remember as kid going to a library? Well use your “library voice” when speaking.
- Don’t stand outside of someone’s cubicle and have a conversation. This is distracting and can become an annoyance.
- Keep the garlic at bay and avoid eating strong smelling foods at your desk, that’s what the office kitchen or cafeteria is for.
- Perfume and cologne – moderation is the key word here. Be aware people you work around may have allergies or asthma. These can be triggers for them.
- Feeling sick today? Stay at home, pleeezeee! No one appreciates getting your cold or a martyr in the office. Colds are most contagious the first few days. Get well and come back when your symptom free.
- Electronics – the cell phone, iPod, internet radio. If you need to have a cell phone with you, placing it on vibrate or low is optimal. Some companies allow staff to use their iPod or radios. If yours’ does, keep the volume low or use headphones.
What can you do to minimize sound in your cubicle?
- Plants are great at absorbing noise. Be cautious of any allergies in the office and let’s not make your cubicle look like a jungle.
- Carpets, curtains, window shades and acoustic ceiling tiles can also help with sound absorption. Be sure to get approval from management before decorating your office.
- If possible, arrange your desk to face away from the opening in your cubicle. If eye contact is reduced to a minimum, less interruptions may occur.
- Finally, confront the offender. If this person is too loud or committing some of these offenses, it may be best to talk to him/her about it. Chances are they may not know they are doing this.
But the most important rule to follow is “set a good example yourself by not committing any of the nuisances”. Cubicles can have some issues, but they can also bring an office together and can have some fun. Check out this video, though I don’t recommend it for our office :).