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Cubicle Etiquette

Guidelines for Cubicle Etiquette

Today more and more people are working in cubicles so it’s necessary to establish some rules of cubicle etiquette so that everyone can get along working in such close quarters. A cubicle may not have doors and windows but it is still an office for all intents and purposes.

That means that all of the rules that apply to a normal office should also apply to a cubicle office. The first rule of cubicle etiquette is to give each person his or her privacy. That means you don’t enter a cubicle without permission any more than you would enter an office without permission. Always announce your presence or knock on the wall. Never bother a fellow worker who looks busy and never make eye contact with someone unless you don’t mind being interrupted.

Another rule of cubicle etiquette is to keep your voice as quiet as possible when talking in your cubicle. That applies to whether you are talking on the telephone or to another office worker. If you need to meet with someone, it is best to do it in a conference room if possible. Always believe that anything you say in a cubicle can be overheard by neighboring workers. That means, do not ever discuss anything that is confidential in your cubicle. You are apt to hear or at least pick up fragments of the conversations of others. It is your responsibility to keep anything you overhear to yourself and not pass it on to others.

There are many, many noises that disturb people who work in office cubicles. So try to be as quiet as you can so as not to add more. That means not only to speak quietly but to take measures to control the noises made by telephones. Set the volume as low as you can to still hear the phone when it rings. Try to answer it on the first or second ring. Set your voicemail to pick up calls when you are not at your desk. Always keep in mind that the person next door can probably hear every word you are saying and act accordingly.

Rules of cubicle etiquette can apply to smells as well as sounds. Be considerate by not wearing a perfume or cologne that is so strong people can smell it beyond your cubicle. While you may like the smell, others may not. And, many people are allergic to perfumes and fragrances and can literally become ill when exposed. Also, try and keep food smells down to a minimum. It is one thing if your neighbor can smell your coffee but quite another if you order liver and onions for lunch at your desk.

The basics of cubicle etiquette are pretty easy to remember. Just be considerate and understanding with co-workers and treat them the way you would like to be treated.




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