What Is the Importance of Cubicle Etiquette?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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Good cubicle etiquette is extremely important, as employing it illustrates personal respect and professionalism. Without proper workplace etiquette, office harmony can become seriously disrupted and employee turmoil can adversely affect a company’s bottom line. When employees practice appropriate cubicle etiquette, however, workplace disturbances and general employee discomfort can be greatly reduced.

Working in cubicles does not typically allow employees a lot of personal space. Such may be a more efficient choice for accommodating a certain number of employees in a limited space, but if proper office etiquette is ignored, such can also be a blueprint for disaster. Cubicle etiquette, therefore, is important to help maintain order and professional respect for others in the workplace.

In a busy workplace, cubicle etiquette is also important in helping keep outside distractions to a minimum. Frequent interruptions, loud talking, gossip and overbearing scents can cause distractions that slow work production or make nearby employees quite uncomfortable. To avoid this, many employers have strict rules about cubicle etiquette that all must agree to adhere to on a consistent basis. Rules like not entering another employee’s cubicle without an invitation, speaking in soft tones, never yelling out to an employee in another cubicle, using headphones to listen to music, not eating inside of cubicles and respecting the privacy of others are very important activities that can help make working in cubicles a lot easier and more productive in a busy workplace.


A lack of good cubicle etiquette may not only be a distraction, but can be downright offensive to some. Private telephone conversations that demean certain groups of people or that are riddled with profanity can make people feel uncomfortable in the workplace. While refraining from doing so is considered good office etiquette, in general, it is particularly important when people are assigned to work closely or even share a single office cubicle.

The importance of cubicle etiquette not only applies to the comfort of employees, but a lack of good etiquette can also cause serious implications for an employer. This is particularly the case when employees feel threatened by a co-worker’s lack of respect for privacy or offensive behaviors such as overtly sexual or racial comments, lewd photographs and suggestive music. Even when activities involving potentially offensive behaviors occur within the confines of an employee’s assigned workspace, an employer may be at risk for expensive legal woes when proper cubicle etiquette is not practiced.


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Post 1

As is the case with most questions of etiquette, cubicle etiquette essentially means not acting like you were raised in a barn! Keep chewing noises to a minimum, watch your voice volume when you're on the phone or speaking to a customer at your desk. Watch yourself to make sure you're not tapping your desk with a pen or pencil constantly. If you have something like a box of candy or cookies, etc., offer it to your cube mates. Don't force it on them, but do offer.

This is where the Golden Rule applies so exquisitely. If you don't want to hear it, see it or deal with it, then don't do it yourself. Simple.

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