Etiquette in the office cubicle should be given as much attention as etiquette in a movie theater or other public place. The contrasts aren’t that far apart, and it certainly needs some work when you realize how much etiquette has gone downhill in movie theaters and just about everywhere else.
Consider that the walls of a cubicle were originally designed for a reason. Regardless, that doesn’t mean the things you do in there can’t be heard or detected nearby. Keep in mind that this also applies to those who happen to come visit you when you’re in the middle of an intensely busy project.
Dealing with Sounds From Your Cubicle
With office rules starting to loosen somewhat in recent years for better employee efficiency, there might be a tendency to want to do things that are best suited for the home. Some of that involves playing music to stay entertained during work hours. If you happen to play music in your cubicle, be sure to wear earbuds and not openly on your computer or mobile device. However, there’s always a chance others won’t mind hearing what you’re playing if you just politely ask.
Other than music, digital sounds can be a big problem when colleagues in other cubicles need peace and quiet. Cell phones always top the list, especially if you have an overly loud and elaborate ring tone for personal calls. It’s best to turn off your ringtone if you get personal calls regularly during the day and set your phone to vibrate mode.
Be sure to turn off any sounds that emanate from your computer screensaver. Some unfortunately have these, but they’re easy to turn off.
With a little care, any sound emanating from your cubicle can be eliminated. That includes going somewhere else to eat lunch if your stomach is growling a little too loudly.
Approaching People in Other Cubicles
Some of your co-workers may be in deep concentration on a project and can’t be bothered to talk right away. If you need to talk to them, knock on their cubicle wall or politely ask if they’re busy. In fact, you don’t even have to do that if you clearly see through their cubicle door they’re busy with a project. Simply come back later to talk to them if you truly need to relay something important.
There’s nothing more annoying than looking up and seeing that someone is peering over the cubicle wall at you. They may be doing that while you’re on the phone so they can say something to you, or perhaps just being curious about what you’re doing. They and you should never look in on someone’s cubicle without their knowledge. There could be personal information being entered into the computer or a mobile device an employee doesn’t want anyone to see. That includes listening in on personal phone calls as well, even if they can’t help but be heard.
It’s also rude to take supplies out of your employee’s cubicle without asking them. No matter that they might be out of their cubicle for a minute and you’re in a hurry, it’s best to politely ask for one of those supplies from someone else.
Take all these etiquette tips seriously and you’ll foster a better workplace environment in your business. In turn, this leads to a business with better integrity and professionalism that shows through in customer service.