Don’ts of Cubicle Life

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At some point, you may have worked in a cube farm, aka cubicle. It’s an employer’s way of packing in worker bees in a small and cost efficient space. Nothing makes someone feel more like a cog in the wheel like having a cubicle.

The pros to cubicle life? Constant collaboration with colleagues. Open settings promote communication and collaboration.

The cons? Everything else. People interrupt you often. The noise level. Over hearing conversations you shouldn’t. Smelly food people eat at their desks. Etcetera, etcetera.

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Since you have to sit in a cubicle for work, make the most of it and don’t break these rules. Help promote good cubicle etiquette by being an example.

  1. Don’t decorate obnoxiously. Keep photos to a minimum by displaying just one or two. No kids’ artwork. No holiday or birthday decorations. Ever.
  2. Don’t display toys or action figures. It’s not mature. This includes bobble heads and anything called “desk toys”. If you need a fidget item, a stress ball is a good addition, but keep it inside the desk when not in use.
  3. Don’t eat at your desk, even snacks. Walk away and nibble on pretzels, or take that sandwich to the employee kitchen. If you need to space out from colleagues, step outside, go to the lobby, or even your car. Try to have lunch with one or two work friends away from the office whenever possible. Smelly food is the worst, so reheating that salmon and kidney beans is a terrible idea.
  4. Don’t over accessorize. Keep desk supplies inside the desk as often as possible. Items to keep on top of your desk: computer, mouse, phone, cell phone, one pen, and a notepad. Keep the stapler, tape, sticky notes, pens, and paper clips off the desk to prevent clutter.
  5. Don’t store files on top of your desk. Utilize your drawer to store file folders. Minimize clutter and keep snoopy eyes at bay.
  6. Don’t have an inbox tray in your desk. Things will pile up. If someone hands you something, tackle it right away.

Your cubicle doesn’t need to be sterile and devoid of personality. Instead, less than three items should be used for personality. Try two family photos and a motivational poster. How about one photo, one cool cell phone rest, and a cup of colorful pens. Maybe a photo of your dog, a small fan, and nice lamp. This rule of three will help you appear clean, tidy, and mature.

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