What Do the Cubicle & the Guillotine Have in Common?

Both were designed to serve a humane means to a grisly end, with neither inventor wishing for their creations to be used in the manner to which they evolved. Luckily, where they differ is that you don't have to let the cubicle kill your morale.

While more innovative and ergonomic versions are popping up in the workplace, the average cube remains pretty sterile and dreary. What to do? Accept it, and leverage every inch of space to your advantage. How you configure and/or decorate it can have a pretty powerful impact how people do business with you.

The way you decorate it can serve as a vehicle kiss up to management (mimic their offices), enhance camaraderie with your colleagues, or purposely estrange you from them. Whether people walk over to your cube or see it when you're logged on to a video conference, it can set the tone for how you do business with others before a conversation even starts.

How do you wish to be perceived?
Whether you have a veritable jungle of plants, wallpaper made of your children's art projects, or absolutely nothing, people usually take a look around to "size you up" and determine how to approach you.

Some company cultures silently convey that customizing your cube is taboo. In this case, try a more subtle approach so you can have a private laugh that won't raise eyebrows or get you fired:

Does your company not allow plants due to allergies? Here's a hypoallergenic version:

Here's a good litmus test to see if people know where you're coming from:

Ergonomifying (just made it up)
If your company would rather replace you than faulty equipment, you can always create your own solutions. For instance, is the lighting in your office too harsh? Take a look at this modification:

The Bottom Line
Whether you decorate or not, it's up to you; just be sure your decision helps your presence and influence in the office.

Cubicle Inventor Reference

Guillotine Reference

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