Moving from a ‘Safe’ Cubicle to an ‘Unsafe’ Cubicle

Had a cubicle off the beaten path where you could blog, surf and not worry about someone walking by and seeing you slack?  Now you just got moved right next to bosses office and where everyone walks?  No worries, follow these steps and make it an improvement.

  1. Surf Smaller
    You can still surf, blog or whatever, just not at full-screen.  Resize your window down so that your head/shoulders block out what you’re doing.  Keep something big & scary on the screen, and sneak Firefox down in that corner.  Also, copy text out of pages into Notepad or your favorite editor, IDE, word processor etc. Nobody will know the difference with ASCII text.
  2. Productivity Screensaver.
    Use the Windows ‘My Pictures’ screensaver and screenshot a poopload of scary IT business stuff.  Snap your .Net code, your PL/SQL queries, whatever.  Dump the screenshots into a folder and set that as you’re screensaver.  Now whenever your boss walks by, no matter where or what you’re doing, it’ll look like your in the middle  of formulating the cure for cancer instead of organizing your NetFlix queue.
  3. Stay Late / Work Early.
    Most bosses that come in at 8am will never know if you’re in at 4am, or 7:55am.  With a cubicle right in their direct path, they’ll always notice who’s in early, and who’s working late.   They like that.
  4. Make More Friends
    Talk to your coworkers, joke, meddle, and visit.  With a cubicle in a high-traffic zone its very easy to get away from your work and socialize more.  Socializing more means a friendlier environment, networking opportunities, and a great way to look like a bigger part of the team. Also a great way for your boss to learn about you, by overhearing your conversations or witnessing your sweet office, which brings us to…
  5. Decorate and Organize
    Get some cool office stuff and make your cubicle look slick.  Keep it clean and organized, and you will get more respect.  From everyone.   Get crazy, frame a picture or two and finagle a way to hang them from those carpeted cubicle walls. Special note, having papers strewn etc. all over your cubicle doesn’t make you look busy – it makes you look like you’re out of control and not managing tasks well.