I don't usually bother people with the nitty-gritty of web development, e.g., programming, because nobody cares. The marketing folks just care about the deliverables. However, all of my notes, plans, and diagrams are on my computer and generally not visible. This makes my work appear mysterious to others, and I wonder if it might be helpful to me, socially, to create some artifacts to put up on the walls for others to view. For example, Gannt charts, color-coded schedules, index cards, etc. I vaguely feel a need to reassure others that I am "busy". I also get remarks on how tidy my cube is!

2 Answers 2


I've had similar feelings, and the conclusion I came to was: Decorate your cubicle in whatever way makes you feel more comfortable or helps you perform your duties.

I have several "cheat sheets" taped up around my monitors—regex, vim, debugger commands, an abbreviated table of reference codes from one of our internal databases. These help me perform my duties, as well as giving an idea to an observer of what those duties are. I also brought in a few books from home that I've been meaning to read, and put them on an out-of-the-way shelf where I can grab one on my way to a break. That's enough of a conversation-starter, if anyone cares; more importantly, it's comfortable and convenient for me.

If you put stuff up purely to give the impression that you're busy, that may come through to your coworkers. They may catch on and decide that you're putting up a front that's not genuine. Why take that risk? Your cubicle exists, at least in theory, to help you work. Your teammates and supervisors are the only ones who need to know that you're being productive, and they'll know it because you get stuff done, not because you hung up some charts from a meeting.

  • As a matter of fact, your question inspired me to throw away some crap cluttering up my own cubicle. Like this hard copy calendar they give out every year. For some reason I always think I'll use it, but there it is, completely untouched, hanging open to a month three months in the past...
    – Air
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 18:19
  • Well, I'm not getting rid of my John Lennon calendar. I do remember to change it to a new picture of John and Yoko each month. :) Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 20:05
  • 2
    "And Yoko?" You monster!
    – Air
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 20:46

Can't hurt. Get some swag while you're at it: a while ago I resolved to make myself more approachable, since I tended at the time to seem a little standoffish when deep in thought, even though it was unintentional. Personally I have a little wooden puzzle, some 'buckyball' magnets, and a couple of fun little pose-able guys made from some wire-ending things.

Posting your work where others can see it will prompt conversations regarding the work, while photos and toys can prompt non-work conversations. Both are important to help your co workers come to know you. Once you know each other, you can start to feel part of a team, instead of a bunch of people working on vaguely related things. Marketing folks might be interested in learning about programming, since it can help them to more thoroughly understand what they're marketing, and how to relate to the target audience, even though it seems like they just care about deliverables.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .