AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
November 3, 2015

CATEGORIES:
On the Job

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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Cube Life: 5 Ways to be a Good Office Neighbor

AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
November 3, 2015

CATEGORIES:
On the Job

READING TIME:
2 minutes

Many office setups today are arranged around open, shared spaces, with little to no walls separating one workspace from another. That makes collaboration easier, but also requires you and your coworkers to follow basic office etiquette.

Here’s a few ways to make sure you are being a good neighbor to your fellow coworkers.

  1. Know when to take a conversation elsewhere.

Occasionally, you’ll need to stop by the desk of a coworker or a supervisor to ask a question, and sometimes that question will quickly turn into a longer discussion. Since only a cube wall or two separates you from your coworkers, it may be time to head to a conference room or other designated meeting space to finish your conversation.

  1. Clean up after yourself.

Most workplaces have several shared spaces, be it staff kitchens or conference rooms. If you are using those spaces, be sure to leave them in good condition. Clean any dishes you have in the sink and put them away immediately. If using a meeting room, be sure to clean up any items left behind by meeting attendees. Also, turn off the lights and return any presentation equipment to where it belongs so others can use it when they need it.

  1. Decorate responsibly.

One of the nice things about your desk space is the ability to add a few things to make it your own. However, keep in mind departmental rules regarding personal items in cubes. Best practice is to limit your display to the walls and out of the way of anyone coming by. Also make sure anything you put up is appropriate for the workplace. If you would be embarrassed to have an executive of the company see it, keep it at home.

  1. Watch your noise levels.

Because you share a space with quite a few other people, keeping distractions to a minimum can help you stay on track with your work. For many, noise can quickly take them off task. To help out your fellow coworkers, and to receive the same treatment in return, use a headset when listening to music or a webinar. Keep calls off speakerphone, and turn down the volume on your desk phone to keep everyone from being surprised when it rings. Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate, and it’s probably best to put it off to one side so it won’t distract you either.

  1. Communicate effectively.

When it comes to office disagreements and annoyances, there’s one simple solution: let them know. If you are being distracted by a fellow associate, it’s fine to walk over and politely let the person know. The key is keeping your tone and wording neutral. Try saying something like, “I’m having trouble focusing when your music is playing. Do you think you could put in a headset?”

While these are just a few tips for being polite around the office, there's a common theme: Be respectful of your coworkers. You all share the space, so keeping things professional and polite can go a long way to developing a great working environment.


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Dan A.

Dan is a Corporate Recruiter in Dayton, Ohio. He studied Organizational Leadership at Wright State University, and is our expert on life at Reynolds and how to make yourself stand out in applications. Dan enjoys participating in a recreational basketball league, following the Bengals and Buckeyes, and playing in the company cornhole league.