Cubicle Etiquette?

June 24th, 2009 | 5 Comments |

cubicle farmSo, let’s talk about the cubicle, and more specifically, the work cubicle. To preface this post I did a little research on the cubicle and as I started to look at different cubicles, I started to feel restricted. I became less and less motivated as the time crept by. I think I actually acquired a cubicle phobia!! Seriously, do it. Just start looking at all the different types of cubicles on the net and see how you start to feel after a few minutes of doing it. It’s painful. At least for me it was.

Anyways, as I was looking up these cubicles, I ran across something hilarious. There are sites out on the internet that offer “Cubicle Etiquette!” Basically put, “how to behave in your cubicle.” I had to laugh and I am actually going to copy and past the etiquette right here for you all to read. Now, I have to give props to the person who wrote this information for having a desire to assist those who have chosen to experience the cubicle misery day in and day out. She has good intentions and deserves credit for her suggestions. However, why even choose to submit yourself to so much misery in the first place? That is beyond my comprehension. A $40,000 salary is definitely not worth the pain or even a 6 figure income for that matter. There are much more fun, creative, more exciting and fulfilling ways to make a heck of a lot more money.

Here is the “Cubicle Etiquette”:


  • Never enter someone’s cubicle without permission. Behave as though cubicles have doors. Do not enter before you have eye contact “permission” from the occupant.

  • Try not to sneak up behind someone in a cube. Announce yourself at their doorway or lightly knock on the wall.

  • Post a sign or flag at your cube entrance to signal when you can be interrupted. Avoid making eye contact with people if you don’t want to be interrupted.

  • Don’t “prairie-dog” over the tops of cubes or peek in as you walk past each one.

  • Don’t loiter outside someone’s cube while you wait for him or her to finish a phone call. Come back at another time.

  • Never read someone’s computer screen or comment on conversations you’ve overheard. Resist answering a question you overheard asked in the cube next to you!

  • Keep your hands off a cube dweller’s desk. Just because there’s no door doesn’t mean you can help yourself to their paper clips.


  • Try to pick up your phone after one or two rings. Set the ringer volume at a low level.

  • Limit the use of speakerphones. If you must use one, keep the volume as low as possible. Use a meeting room for conference calls.

  • Watch your volume when talking on the phone. A wireless headset can help keep your voice low.

  • When you leave your cubicle, turn your phone ringer off and let it go to voicemail or forward your phone number to your new location.

  • Never leave your cell phone behind in your cube without first turning it off or to vibrate.

  • With personal or sensitive calls, be aware that your neighbors can hear your end of the conversation.


  • Use your “library voice”.

  • Don’t talk through cube walls or congregate outside someone’s cube. For impromptu meetings, go to a conference room or break room.

  • Don’t bring clients to your cube to meet with them. Go to an office or conference room.

  • Don’t yell across the “cube farm”. Get up and move to the other person’s location.


  • Use email or instant messaging to communicate silently with your coworkers.

  • Play radios at low volumes or use a headset.

  • Set your PC volume to a low level and turn off screensaver sound effects.

  • Set pagers to vibrate.

  • Work out an arrangement with your neighbors to take lunch breaks at different times. This will give each of you some quiet time in your cube.

  • Eat quietly. Avoid gum-popping, humming, slurping and pen tapping.


  • A good rule of thumb is to never eat hot food at your desk. Food odors can bother your hungry or nauseous neighbors.

  • Perfume and cologne should be avoided in a cubicle arrangement. Your neighbors may have allergies.

  • Keep an air freshener handy.

  • Keep your shoes on!

There were some great suggestions in there for those of you who work in a cubicle. I wouldn’t be such a critic if I hadn’t worked in one myself. Whatever reason it is that landed you in a cubicle job, make it completely temporary. Certain people are meant for cubicle jobs and certain people have so much more potential. If you feel like you are the latter, kick the cubicle to the curb. I know for Amy and myself, it has been the most profitable decision we have ever made…and also the most liberating!

David Allred is the author and creator of CFW. David has been teaching entrepreneur minded people how to earn a full time income working from the comfort of home for nearly a decade.

Think about it. Never miss your kids’ events, set your own schedule, choose your own income and enjoy a lifestyle and income which most people only drool over!

Be sure to connect with David Allred on Google+, Facebook and everywhere else!

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