As a professional woman in today’s workplace, at some point and time in your career you have had to work from a cubicle. Yes, an ideal work space is a corner office with an iron clad door with bolts and locks and an alarm system, however, most working environments opt for cubicles for many reasons.

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It allows a company a more cost effective means of housing employees and it also allows supervisors a better view into the work effectiveness. It is of the utmost importance to maintain a level of respect to your company’s culture and policies as well as not becoming THAT employee every other co-worker wants to forget.

Here are three tips to ensure proper cubicle courtesy on the job:

1) Keep It Down Please: Everyone can hear you. I promise you, everyone from the water cooler to the copy room can hear your personal conversations about what you did last Friday after work. They can also hear about the last horrible date you went on with the guy straight from his bid at Riker’s and how your child has not stopped wetting the bed. And guess what? They do not want to be privy to such personal and LOUD information. I can also guarantee that your screaming through the phone to a client is not welcome either as others are attempting to concentrate on their daily duties. The best thing to do while working from a cubicle is to keep your voice down to save personal conversations for lunch time, after work or when solicited.

2) Stop Lurking: There are always one or two co-workers you can most certainly count on lurking around your work space, all in an effort to strike up meaningless conversation. Don’t be that person. There is nothing wrong with being cordial, speaking to everyone and engaging in brief conversation, especially in the morning or at lunch. However, if you are that person who is guaranteed to be standing at or around a co-worker’s cubicle at 10:47 am to give highlights of last night’s Real Housewives of El Segundo, please have a seat……preferably in your own cubicle.

3) Excuse Yourself: Ok, so yea, at 10:48 am you told us all about the extra garlic and goats milk asparagus casserole that you made last night. And now it is 10:55 am and the ENTIRE office is asking “What’s that smell?” for one reason or another (you get what I’m saying). Why? Exercising common courtesy and manners to others who may not be able to stomach your culinary quests is most definitely necessary when working in a cubicle environment. I actually have a good girlfriend who keeps air freshener at her desk when one “just happens” to slip away. I still think that is just as bad. Excuse yourself!

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Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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