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Background: 5 teams in the area and I was recently promoted to lead one of them. Currently, only the director has an office, no other team leads do.

Everyone sits in a cube farm, but an office opened up and was offered to me. I would be the only other person in the area with an office outside the director.

What are the implications of accepting an office as a new team lead, when other team leads do not have one? It seems like it could come across poorly to others. What should I consider when determining if I should accept it?

All the leads (including myself) do similar work including making phone calls and having to meet with other teams/performance appraisals. We use the conf room if we want a private meeting. I think it was offered to me because if we don't use it another area will and I was the most recent promotion.

  • Do you have more experience over the other leads? Can you think of a reason why it was offered to you over the others? If you can't, there might be some animosity on there part if there is nothing that you can point to to say "this is why I was offered the office" – DFord Sep 15 '16 at 15:31
  • What is the work? Is it something where you'll need to be on hand often? – Stephen Sep 15 '16 at 15:34
  • I clarified your question to make it a bit more on topic. "Should I do X?" isn't really an answerable question, but asking how to make the decision can be. If I changed your intent too much, feel free to edit and clarify. – enderland Sep 15 '16 at 15:57
  • I have about the same level of exp as other leads, and we are all basically project managers. – Curious_Swole_Bro Sep 15 '16 at 16:01
  • It is possible that no one else wants to have an office. I've known managers who want to be in the center of things, and put engineers into shared offices while locating themselves at a desk in the common area connected to all the offices. – Arlie Stephens Sep 15 '16 at 19:14
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First do the other team leads work for the same boss?

If so, then I would respond this way: "I would love to get an office, but I think it might cause the more experienced team leads to get upset. I think you should offer it first to them and if none of them want to take it, I would be happy to move in."

If the office belongs to your group and none of the other leads are in your group, I would take it. Then I would find a way to drop it into conversation with the other leads that you were offered the office because the space belongs to your group and they didn't want to lose it.

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A portion of the decision's implications will largely depend on the company's culture, and your relationship with your teams and others.

I have worked places where if a junior PM/lead was given an office ahead of others it would cause bickering, and rub them the wrong way. I also work in places where no one would care - I was in the same position you were in; I was brand new PM and given an office within 2 weeks ahead of our Program Manager and my Manager. Nothing bad happened, no one got angry - it was a little better to have an office since it aided team meetings and I had our standups done there.

Apart from the benefits to collaboration, as far as meetings and calls you can also look at it as if they trust you and have faith in your abilities. If nothing else it should galvanize others to work as hard as you if they want similar.

If you have a more senior member of the company on your team it could be worth broaching the topic to them, saying you do not want it to come across negatively. You may very well be overthinking it, an office isn't the same as if you got a promotion or raise above someone who has been there much longer and put in the same level of effort.

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