My Cube is My Space
Do you view your cubicle as your own private workspace? If you’re like most people who work in a cubicle environment, you do and you expect a certain amount of cubicle etiquette. But what is that exactly?
There are no set of written rules that exist in the workplace to help govern how people behave when they work in such close proximity, but there is a set of unwritten rules that should be adhered to. Both workers in their own cubicles and people in adjoining work spaces should attempt to follow certain etiquette guidelines in order to maintain some form of privacy and to keep employees from getting upset if these guidelines are not respected.
Should the cubicle be viewed as a private workspace? Yes, it should be treated as if it were an office with a door. Barging in and starting up a conversation is considered poor etiquette. Until the worker is able to talk, visitors should make their presence known but stand at the entrance of the cubicle until they are invited in.
Should noise levels be taken into consideration? Definitely! Everyone should keep conversation levels at a normal level when talking on the phone. High pitched laughing and constant chattering can be annoying if someone else is in the midst of a very important phone call.
One very important reminder when it comes to noise levels – don’t use the speakerphone! Just because you’re in a cubicle doesn’t mean that the sound of your conversation doesn’t travel through walls and into the surrounding cubicles.
Should confidentiality be taken into consideration? This is probably the most important rule of cubicle etiquette. Remember, cubicle walls can be thin and will not prevent others from hearing client discussions. This should be an important consideration when discussing confidential client information in person. When conducting a confidential meeting or conversation, you should consider having it within the confines of a private office.
Should food be allowed? This is a touchy issue, especially if your place of business only allows a short time for a lunch break. However, one rule of etiquette that is the most irritating when broken is being next to a smelly cubicle. There isn’t anything more off-putting than being next to someone who consistently eats strong smelling food. This will also offend customers/clients when they come to visit.
Should cleanliness and tidiness be a factor? When making an impression on management, maintaining a clean and tidy cubicle is important. Since space in a cubicle is normally limited, it’s easy to become disorganized and this can reflect poorly on your level of professionalism. Although we all want to make our cubicles “homey,” keep in mind that covering every inch of your cubicle with personal items won’t gain any points from your employer.
When cubicle etiquette is respected, the workplace environment becomes more productive and harmonious for everyone. While privacy is of the utmost importance, colleagues shouldn’t be apprehensive about approaching another person’s cubicle, it’s all about maintaining balance between privacy and accessibility.
Speaking of Cubes! ROSI, Inc’s 1st Annual Show Us Your Cube Contest has started!
The contest begins NOW. Voting begins on August 1, 2013 and runs through August 10, 2013.
Winner to be notified August 15, 2013.
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