Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts August 2003
Short Cuts:Cube Courtesy
How to work respectfully in shared office space
Originally conceived as a way to foster communication and
openness in the workplace, the cubicle system also begs for abuse
from clueless co-workers. Following are tips from business
consultants Ann Marie Sabath, founder of Cincinnati-based At Ease
Inc., and Jill Bremer, principal at Bremer Communications, in Oak
Park, Ill. on behaving professionally in the cube ’hood.
• Mind your own business. Do not offer
unsolicited commentary on someone else’s conversation just because
they’re within earshot.
• Don’t barge in. If you need to speak with
someone who is working in a cube, knock lightly on the wall first
and ask if they have a minute.
• Give yourself privacy. Sit with your back
facing the entrance, and post a “work in progress” sign when you
don’t wish to be interrupted.
• Be discreet. From spousal tiffs to doctor’s
calls, not much escapes the ears of cube neighbors. To avoid having
your private life become public fodder, take a walk and make
personal calls from your cell phone.
• Consider aromas. Last night’s leftover curry
dinner can distract colleagues five aisles away. The same goes for
strong perfumes and colognes.
• Watch the noise level. Do not shout out to
co-workers in a “Stella”-like manner or talk on speakerphone.
• Air it out. Gently express grievances, and
set up mutual rules of behavior so everyone is reminded they are
sharing a tight workspace.
• CARLA BENINI
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