The Cubicle Wars: Proper Etiquette for the Open Workspace

If the esteemed corner office isn’t yet yours, you are likely instead stuck in an inner office cubicle. Oh the joys, right? Open workspaces, while convenient in many regards, also leave the door wide open for coworker conflicts. Reset your office habits with these tips for proper workspace etiquette to ensure you aren’t the cause of the next cubicle war.

Mind your Eating Manners

Most adult workers revert to toddler-like behaviors when exposed to the food of their coworkers at lunchtime. After seeing or smelling your meal, most coworkers will instantly want to eat as well and will throw a temper tantrum if that isn’t immediately possible. 

Mind your eating manners by containing your lunch to the break room, especially if the meal is wafting delicious aromas. Only enjoy tempting treats at your cubicle if you’re prepared to share or if you’re cool with handling the wraths of hungry coworkers.

Avoid Loud Music

Coworkers don’t care about the latest hit song you’ve discovered and you certainly won’t be viewed as super cool by blasting that song through your computer’s speakers. Contain your music to headphones and adjust the volume to a low level that can’t be heard by coworkers.

Use your Inside Voice

An overly loud speaking volume is a major work distractor and coworkers with cubicles near to yours will quickly develop resentment towards you if that overly loud voice is coming from your mouth. Whether talking on the phone or chatting with coworker friends, use your inside voice at your cubicle to avoid an office battle.

Don’t Gossip

Want to annoy your fellow cubicle coworkers? Huddle close with a coworker friend while whispering office gossip secrets and you’re sure to achieve the goal. Gossip in the office is annoying and typically quickly sets the gossiper apart from coworkers. Never gossip in an open workspace and, if possible, avoid talking trash about coworkers in any office space.

Take Exact Breaks

While they may deny it profusely, coworkers are tracking how long you are gone for each office break. If you are coming back from lunch 15 minutes late each day, you’re putting your coworkers in the difficult position of having to report your habits to management. Respect the office handbook by taking breaks for the correctly allotted time amount.

Check your Décor

Desktop fountains, large posters and stringed lights are common nuisances in the shared workspace. Respect the sanity of your fellow cubicles mates by containing your cubicle décor to family photos and subtle items. Also, avoid candles or other scented items that could spark allergic reactions in others.

Worried about the potential for coworker wars in your office’s open workspace? Ensure you aren’t the instigator by following these cubicle etiquette guidelines. Do you have additional tips for keeping the peace in open office workspaces?

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