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9 Rules of Cubicle Etiquette

Working in cubicles means being in close proximity to your colleagues. Being just a partition away from your neighbor can be a good thing and a bad thing. Here are a few rules of etiquette for keeping the peace in an office with cubicles.


Rule #1 – Never yell across the room. Instead – walk over or send an electronic message. This isn’t the Walton’s (“Goodnight John Boy!”), it’s an office and no one wants to hear yelling – especially those on the phone or working on a task that requires concentration.


Rule #2 – Don’t peer over the top of the cubicle wall. This practice is known as prairie-dogging and it’s invasive and rude.

cubicle etiquette peeking over cube

Rule #3 – No speakerphone! It’s loud and disruptive. Also, be certain to use your “cubicle voice” when speaking on the handset phone.

cubicle etiquette loud phone

Rule #4 – Don’t be an aroma offender. Keep strong smells in check. This includes perfume, hair products, nail polish (never appropriate at the office) as well as foods.

cubicle etiquette eating at desk noodles

Rule #5 – Be respectful. Walls and doors may be at a minimum but courtesy should be abundant. Approach people from the front, knock on their wall to quietly get their attention and be mindful of volume. Also, don’t interrupt people if they’re otherwise engaged in a work conversation.

Rule #6 – Don’t borrow (or steal) other people’s things. Just because everything is out in the open doesn’t mean it’s a swap meet. If you need office supplies, go through the proper channels to acquire them.

cubicle etiquette office supplies

Rule #7 – Keep your cubicle decor tasteful and professional. Err on the side of caution with decorative items and jokes. Things that are overtly racy, politically charged or otherwise suggestive are nothing but trouble. You don’t want to wind up in HR over a meme you found on Twitter last night and printed off when you got to work. Also, ensure your cubicle is orderly and clean. 

cubicle etiquette messy desk

Rule #8 – Your cubicle is not a bathroom. Please refrain from brushing hair, flossing, putting on perfume, dressing or conducting any other personal grooming activities.

cubicle etiquette putting on lipstick  cubicle etiquette painting nails at work

Rule #9 – Keep your devices in check. Silence your cell phone. Make sure your office phone is set at a reasonable ring volume. Also, use headphones if you like to listen to music but be sure that they’re not so loud that the rest of your colleagues can hear your new playlist … or worse yet, you singing along to your playlist. 

cubicle etiquette headphones to loud

If you need some ideas as to how to better organize the cubicles you have or if you’re in need of more cubicles, give us a call. We offer new and used cubicles and we are experts at delivery and installation. Best of all, we offer a Free Site Survey to help maximize your current or planned office space.


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