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Those cubicles

We who remember 1980 probably remember Les Nessman, the radio station news director in the television situation comedy WKRP in Cincinnati. Les worked in a big room with several other employees. Les believed he should have his own private office, so he put masking tape on the floor around his desk to mark his walls. He insisted people knock at an imaginary door and wait for permission to enter.

Twenty some years later we empathize because we have cubicles that are promoted as fostering creativity and opening communication (and also cost less and take less space than private offices).

Our differences
How much noise one can ignore varies person to person. Some tell me talking on the telephone is intimidating when they realize others hear the conversation. Some people resort to e-mail because it’s a quiet communication when the telephone may be the better method. Civility is not easy in cubicles.

Respect other people’s space. There is not an open-door policy just because there is no door. Respect the workspace and privacy of others.
Don’t talk loudly…in person, on the phone. Use a conference room for teamwork or if you have visitors. No speaker phones.
Food with odors, strong perfumes and colognes probably bother others.

Resolve problems if you live in a cube
Talk to those who are creating problems for you. Be pleasant about the situation. The offender is probably not aware she is creating a problem for you. If one of your neighbors complains to you, be sensitive, apologize and work to correct the situation.

The first three links have rules for cubicles. The fourth is an article on the gadgets people will try to survive in cubicles. And finally, cartoons provide relief.

Cubicle etiquette, http://www.bremercommunications.com/Cubicle_Etiquette.htm

Cubicle etiquette, http://www.newschool.edu/admin/team/res_article2.html

What is proper Office Cubicle etiquette? http://beginnersguide.com/office-equipment/office-cubicles/what-is-proper-office-cubicle-etiquette.php

Employees Test Defenses Against Office Pests, The Wall Street Journal Online, http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/cubicleculture/20021011-cubicle.html

Office cubicle cartoons, http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/o/office_cubicle.asp

Comments

Hmm, all the articles seem to be geared toward making cubicle work tolerable.

God bless instant messenger for communication, and being able to have quality conversations in cubeville without 'interruption' or tossing in unecessary '2 cents' from others.

Great post Lynette!

Great post! Journalists with a newsroom background consider cubicle land a step up in privacy. The rest of us must learn new behaviors. I also have a theory -- the advent of cubicle land brought on the trend to build larger-than-life houses. People so want to escape the constant presence of others at work that they resort to building huge homes where they can hide out.