An EA’s Guide to Surviving the Office Cubicle

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Executive assistants often take charge of many tasks at once.  More often than not, the majority of their time is spent in one place-The cubicle.  Repetitive stress coupled with a er, how should I put this, non-ergonomical work space can take it’s toll.  Here’s a no-nonsense guide guaranteed to help these unsung corporate heroes make the most of their time in The Cubicle

 

  1. Location Location Location:Choose a cube as far away from main corridors, restrooms, supply rooms, and other high-traffic locations, if the choice is yours . Stay away from cubes that are in the boss’s direct line of sight.
  2. Use Comfort Tech Gadgets: Find the comfiest  chair availabe, or liberate one from a vacant cubicle or office (some types of chairs may be given only to employees of a certain rank, so borrow cautiously). As an alternate method get a certified  doctor’s note officialy certifying that you need a comfortable chair for medical reasons—your employer WILL provide you with one. A back pillow and footrest pay in dividends. Stay away from hammocks, love seats or recliners!
  3. Make Use of Convenience Accessories: A Bluetooth headset will afford you an increased range of motion. Noise-cancelling headphones (with an extended cord) can get rid of external distractions. A mini- fan has been known to filter out annoying noises such as loud phone conversations and typing racket. (The fan will also challenge nosy co-workers from eavesdropping in on confidential conversations)
  4. Personalize Your Territory: Let your internal interior decorator come out here.  Adorn your cubicle with photos of family and friends, even your kids  drawings.  Some Executive Assistants swear that having personally meaningful pictures or other homey items have gotten them throught the toughest of days. Don’t over-do it or your cubicle could turn into a dorm room or billboard.
  5. Build Vertically: There are usually fewer to limits to using vertical space than horizontal. Stack invoice trays on top of elevated surfaces to clear up more horizontal room. Rolodexes, Tape Rollers, and Staplers that usually take up precious desk space can be hung vertically to open up and maximize horizontal desk real estate and create a clean and spacious feel.
  6. Mirror Mirror: Mount  a large mirror on the cube wall – this will give the illusion of more space.                                                                        

Caution

  • Health and safety ordinance codes prohibit cubicles from having roofs. Do not attempt to recreate privacy by fully enclosing your cubicle
  • Placing a discreet, stick-on wide-angle mirror to the frame of your  computer let’s you see anyone trying to peer into your cubicle from behind.
  • Notify your boss that you would like a “double-wide” cubicle when one opens up. Standard cubes measure 8 by 8 feet and 4 to 6 feet high—double-wides give you twice the real estate of standard cublices, plus an L- or U-shaped desk. The double-wide cubicle does pose some risk: If office space needs to be ‘consolidated’ you may find yourself with a cube-mate, a situation you would like to avoid
special thanks: Courtney Daniels
image: amazon.com still from movie "Office Space"