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Susan M. Heathfield

Privacy in Cubicleville

By August 3, 2009

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Over the years, I have observed many creative ways that employees who live in cubicleville use to signal coworkers that they are busy and donít want to be disturbed. I have seen furniture arrangements that discourage interruptions. I have seen signs that say, ďdo not disturb.Ē One client wore an airplane propeller beanie when he absolutely did not want company.

Over 50 million Americans work in a cubicle each day and clueless coworkers who donít realize that they are your 50th interruption are countless. So, I was interested to see a new product that sends your ďleave me aloneĒ message politely. Cubeguard blocks entry to your cubicle in a polite, yet graphic, manner.

Reasonably priced, these signs provide a barrier and a message. Since cubicles arenít going anywhere any time soon because of their space and resource saving features - in fact, some companies favor cubes for their potential encouragement of collaboration - this may be a convenient solution to interruptions.

The other half of the equation, though, remains you. When you signal your need for uninterrupted time, make sure you stick to your privacy rights, or you are training your coworkers to interrupt.

Do you know of other products or methods?

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