Many of today’s office environments are open plan or cubicle workspaces. Have you got a handle on the etiquette for these working environments, or have you become the worker everyone hates without realising it ? Open plan and cubicle workspaces can be difficult to work in. There is very little privacy and it is the land of many distractions and a lot of noise. It is a very stressful situation and can be made worse by the way some people act. Whilst most of the time, "grin and put up with it", does come into play as you don’t wish to become the office whiner.
Here are 4 things to check to ensure that others don’t consider you as the worker everyone hates.
Speakerphone: Please do not use the Speakerphone for listening to voice mail or other conversations. This is very distracting and very annoying to anyone within hearing distance. The only way a Speakerphone should be used is within a conference room or in a private office with the door shut.
Knocking: It may seem silly, but knocking before coming into another's cubicle space is a sign of respect for their privacy. No one would consider going straight into an office with a closed door without knocking first. So those who work in a cubicle environment should have the same respect. Asking permission to enter their space just seems to make everyone feel respected and produces better relationships. Treating others this way will become infectious and will soon spread throughout the floor and make for happier co-workers.
Prairie Dogging: This goes along with showing respect like asking before entering the other person's space. There is something called prairie dogging that should definitely be avoided in a cubicle environment. Prairie Dogging is when people just pop over the top of the wall and start talking. This happens a lot because people are in a hurry these days. When a lot of people are popping their heads over the top, it does look like a prairie dog town.
Voice: Try to keep the tone and volume of your voice appropriate to the setting when speaking to other people or on the phone. In other words, use your "inside voice" as we tell our children. People generally talk louder on the phone for some reason and it is helpful to be reminded occasionally that voices can be lowered and everyone can still hear just fine.
The worker who follows these suggestions will keep everyone working in a more pleasant situation. Everyone deserves a little respect because everyone has to work to make ends meet these days. Having respect for your co-workers is key to having great working conditions and a much happier and productive group of individuals working in an open plan and cubicle world. Make sure you don’t become the worker everyone hates.