Office Cubicle Etiquette

office cubiclesUnless you are lucky enough to get your own office, chances are you will have your own workstation or cubicle to do your work in. Having proper office cubicle etiquette is important if this is how your office is set out. There are a few things you probably should keep in mind when working in such close quarters with everyone else.

One thing that used to drive me nuts was when someone from the next cubicle popped their head over the cubicle wall and said something dumb like “Whatcha doin?” Sometimes I’d just jump as I wasn’t expecting anyone to do that. If it annoyed me, I’m sure it annoys others too. Respect other people privacy as much as possible given the circumstances.

If someone is having a conversation in the next cubicle, don’t stick your head around to jump in and add your two cents worth unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s hard enough working in such close quarters without having someone do that all the time.

While I have nothing against people eating whatever they please, I draw the line where the smell is just so overpowering it makes you want to pewk. Cubicle etiquette dictates that you have your lunch in the office kitchen rather than at your cubicle. And if you do eat your lunch at your desk, it might be a good idea to put your lunch wastes in the office kitchen bin rather than your desk bin. The smell of onions and the like can be a bit off when left for hours after in the bin.

Have you ever sat at your desk and just couldn’t help but listen to the phone conversation in the next cubicle because the person was talking so loud? I remember all too well what that was like and it can make the office morale go down as well as create a lot of stress and tension. If you have to talk on the phone, try and keep the volume down. As well as that, noises your computer makes can be annoying too so turn down the volume of email alert sounds, screen saver sounds and any other beeps or buzzes your computer sound effects can make. At one stage a person near me had a sound effect when he received an email. The sound was a woman’s voice yelling out ‘not happy Jan’! He sent this sound effect to a lot of people and can you imaging what it was like hearing a woman’s voice yelling not happy Jan a thousand times a day? Enough to make you jump out of the window. Thankfully it was banned eventually in the office.

As a manager, you might want to consider sending out an email memo to everyone this sort of thing can affect. You will be surprised how many people will appreciate it and will tell you all these noises, loud conversations and smelly foods were driving them crazy. Having proper office cubicle etiquette can contribute a lot to your departments productivity and the morale of your staff.


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