Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cube Chic

Wired magazine online has a fun piece on a book called Cube Chic by Kelley L. Moore. The book features photos of "22 whimsical workspace makeovers" to take your own veal-fattening pen from drab to fab. Of course, the Zen Cube and the Nap Cube are just over-the-top examples. But supposedly there are takeaway nuggets that can help you jazz up your own cubicle without getting yourself tossed out the door along with your bamboo wallpaper.

You can also check out the apparently out of print Pimp My Cubicle by Reverend Smoothello G. Debaclous.

And when your cube is all decorated, here are some tips for coexisting in Cubeville, from the forthcoming fourth edition of Job Savvy by Laverne Ludden, which I am editing this week:

  • Use a reasonable voice. Cubicles are not soundproof. Others can hear what you say. Use a quiet voice when conducting business.
  • Think about your cell phone use. Check your company’s policy about personal cell phone use. Avoid disturbing your coworkers with the ringing of a cell phone. Set the ringer on “vibrate” or turn it off. Take the phone with you when you leave the cube.
  • Treat your coworkers’ cubicles as offices. Knock before entering. Wait till the person responds to you before walking in. If they are on the phone or busy with someone else, leave and come back later.
  • Hold conversations in the cube. Sitting in your cube and talking to the person in the next cubicle disturbs everyone around you. Leaning over the wall for a conversation is just as distracting. When you need to speak to anyone, enter the cube for the conversation.
  • Avoid overcrowding in the cubicle. Unless you are meeting with only one other person, a cubicle is not large enough to hold a meeting. A conference room is a more appropriate place to have a meeting.
  • Be considerate of others. A cubicle office is shared space. Eating strong-smelling foods in your cubicle may irritate others. Using scented lotions or perfumes affects people’s allergies. Coworkers who hum, chew gum loudly, or clip their fingernails annoy others.
  • Express your concern. If you are unable to do your work because of a coworker’s actions, politely discuss the problem with the individual. A direct approach is much more kind and effective than gossiping about the individual or avoiding the problem.


Krisan Matthews said...

Great tips! Cube life isn't always fun...but it's good to keep these things in mind. I'm always jealous of the editors I work with because they have offices and can shut their doors for some peace and quiet. Having a door is definitely something I aspire to! :)

Lori Cates Hand said...

Interestingly enough, getting an office doesn't resolve as many of these issues as you might think. More than once I have sat in my office and heard my neighbor (also in an office) popping gum or clipping their nails!

Still, I don't get why companies think that people can concentrate on editing or proofreading in a cube. It's next to impossible.