Project Cubicle

Cubicle etiquette. Some things may seem common sense, but I think many can testify that some people just don't get it. Eavesdropping on phone calls, ditching shoes at the desk, wearing way too much perfume ... how should an employee handle that? Besides employees, how should managers and HR handle these issues? Flip flops aren't appropriate business attire, but what are employees supposed to think if their supervisor is the one wearing them?

You start to see divides form. One group, blatantly disregards dress codes, common courtesy and common sense. The other group, knows the right thing to do and usually DOES the right thing ... but after seeing Jane Smith wear flip flops for a week with no repercussions might think "Well, if Jane can do it ... ". Then there is the third group. These are the ones that always do the right thing and are baffled, offended and outraged when someone else doesn't. This is who you will most likely hear the complaining from.

So what to do?

With enormous help from Ben Eubanks over at UpstartHR, Project Cubicle began to develop, a list of 10 office commandments, to broach these issues in a funny manner. So here they are:

Phones: In space, no one can hear you scream. In the office, everyone can. Use the phones wisely.
Speakerphones: The speakerphones are broken. Don't try to use them. Ever. Please.
Kitchen: We all eat from the kitchen, please keep it clean. The janitor is scary in person.
Refrigerator: Everyone loves pulling fungus out of the fridge. Wait, they don't. Toss it.
Cell phones: Keep cell use minimal (and silent). There's a problem if the beeps from your cube sound like an Atari convention.
Aroma: Cologne is a nich touch, but if the scent carries to the next floor of the building, please tone it down a notch.
Privacy: "Shh! I'm listening to Bob's conversation in the next cube. I'll get back to you later." If this is happening, it shouldn't be.
Smoking: Smoking is your thing, that's cool. Keep the breaks short and the butts in the trash. Or else.
Clothing: Welcome to the OFFICE. Not the beach. Not a party. Not high school. Dress appropriately.
Internet: Surfing. It's an awesome outside sport, but doesn't work well inside. At work. At your desk. Capiche?

So there you have it, Project Cubicle or the 10 Commandments of Office Etiquette. Print them out if you like, post them. Maybe you won't get drastic changes, but at least a few chuckles.

Have any you'd like to add?


  1. Coffee- The coffeepot is not going to fill it self- you kill the joe make some mo! (thanks Terry Tate)

    I would probably add a Gas/Body Odor clause to the Aroma Commmandment

  2. Inside voices people, not everyone wants to hear you conversation; if you have something to say to cube mate four cubes over, get up and walk over there.

  3. Huge points for dropping the term "Atari Convention"!

  4. IThat was Ben. I shamefully admit I had to google the term.

  5. Great post and great comments!! Inside voices and the coffee pot does not refill itself are my favorite comments! Cell phones and aroma are very good points too!