19 Apr Ode to an Office Cubicle
It seems like office cubicles are always getting a bad rap. Too often employees do not take the time to stop and think about the many advantages of working in a cubicle. Today I would like to talk about some of the valuable experiences you can have in a cubicle and how it can help to advance your career.
Working in a cubicle or a more open area can give employees the opportunity to be more social and build better working relationships with their colleagues. In a study by prestigious furniture maker, Knoll, it was found that employees are away from their assigned desks about 44 percent of their workday, and working in a cubicle can make everyday interactions easier. Cubicles inspire a more social atmosphere, and many times it’s the employees working in cubicles who have more fun.
Cubicles not only let employees participate in everyday chitchat, they also make it easier to collaborate with others. Working in a cubical can often help teams to foster a closer working relationship. Hearing about company news, unassigned projects or processes from conversations around you is another often forgotten benefit.
Working in a cubicle also allows you to learn from those around you. Listening to how someone speaks with his boss or manages a conflict over the phone is easier if you can hear those around you. When I took my first furniture sales job out of college, I had no idea what I was doing. I cannot even begin to explain the extensive product and sales knowledge I gained by listening to good ole Ken in the workstation next to me! You can learn new techniques and get ideas on managing your workload by listening to those around you.
Probably the biggest complaint of a cubicle dweller is the lack of privacy. One way to make cubicles more private is to treat them as more of an office. Co-workers should respect boundaries and follow the same protocol that they would if they were approaching someone working in an office. For more great ideas on cubicle manners and etiquette, check here.
While most employees will always aspire to have an office of their own and all of the prestige that goes along with it, don’t forget to take advantage of time spent in a cubicle. Learn what you should and shouldn’t do from those around you and make yourself a greater asset to your company.