Cubicle Etiquette: Sights, Sounds and Smells

What is covered in fabric, measures 6 feet by 6 feet, and allows complete access to sights, sounds, and smells of your co-workers?

Yep, you guessed it: “The Cubicle.” While cubicles get the most bang for the employee head-count buck, they open the door – without actually having one – to many “oh, no they didn’t” office scenarios. But never fear; there are sensible solutions you can use to calm the storm that sometimes brews in the sea of compartments. It’s a calm that comes from using good senses: sight, sound and smell.

Set Your Sights on Sensitivity

We’ve all seen it, the worker who pops up unexpectedly or hovers, waiting for our attention. The first visit may be fine, but the second is inconvenient and the third inspires thoughts of banging one’s head against the wall…thank goodness it’s padded.

Etiquette advises against “popping in” on people, even at work. But what’s a gracious co-worker to do with a perpetual prairie dog? It’s always okay to say, “This is a great question and I want to make sure you have my complete attention. Can we schedule a time to chat later today?”  For those who have a tendency to visit unannounced or unexpected, stop before you “pop” and send a quick e-mail message or call to ask, “Is this a good time?”

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