80

I would put them in a box/bag and give them to your Human Resources department -- if they tell you to throw it away then you can. If you throw them away without instruction, then you essentially take on some responsibility for those items. Edit: If you really want to cover yourself in case HR does tell you to throw the items away, you could send an email ...


42

There's a huge amount of research into how office layouts affect employee happiness and productivity, with some areas that have a consensus view, and others that don't. Some of the things that have a consensus view are that poor lighting, uncomfortable furniture and high noise levels have highly detrimental impacts on productivity (see 1 and 2 below and ...


29

Seems like your figurines are simply a magnet for others to fidget with. Most likely this is not malicious (except maybe for the missing one). However, depending on your reaction to these things being moved it could also be that an office mate is simply trolling you. Let's analyze both situations: Innocent Interest You could, for example, mention it to ...


27

Get a box, put the stuff in, put the previous occupants name on there if you know it, and then give it to someone else -- your supervisor, human resources, office manager. You shouldn't have to put up with it, and if you throw it away, you will have been the last one to touch it and thus the obvious target for any complaints. Dealing with such things are ...


26

It is reasonable to request a change, citing the issues you brought up. It is also reasonable for management to refuse as seating is a highly political thing and there are many things beyond your personal comfort that go into how they determine who sits where. The fact that your managers did not solicit input from the employees tells me they are less ...


25

What I read from your question is that this is mostly a matter of you needing to be in complete control of how you work and your problem-solving process than need for physical stimulation or exercise (which you claim to be getting a lot of anyway). This is a very tricky domain. Many employers will accommodate their employees to a fairly wide degree, as long ...


23

How can I handle a situation like this? (I'm assuming here that your cubicle isn't the only cubicle that has this sort of clutter. If it is, then perhaps you should consider fitting in more closely with the company norm in this regard.) Since you indicate the co-worker was fairly polite, you should reply in a similarly polite, but firm manner. Something ...


22

It seems that this is a real problem for you. However you have it in your power to remove this problem all together. You can do that by simply taking the figurines home. The figurines are not necessary or even beneficial to your job performance, and it seems now have become a hindrance and problem for you at work. You spend a good portion of your life ...


19

Having worked in offices for over 30 years, never once have I considered myself to be confined. So perhaps I'm not really understanding your problem, but if you truly feel this way, perhaps a profession that doesn't involve sitting at a desk for 8 or more hours a day would be a better choice for you. One thing I can think of to do in your office is to get ...


17

Welcome to what Susan Cain calls "the new groupthink". In "Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking", Susan describes how the open office plan has made it's way into the workplace. According to Susan, managers believe that it's not the single individual who is most able to innovate; instead, innovation comes from crowdsourcing, from ...


16

How reasonable is changing assigned seating when requested? As long as the employee is reasonable, management tends to be reasonable, because everyone's goal is (or should be) making the best company you can. The employee has the desire to optimize their productivity by sitting in a place that is not distracting, has enough space to work, and so on. ...


15

Overall, I don't think there's any reason for you to give up a computer career - being able to move around at your desk or just work from home is definitely not impossible, but your current workplace sounds particularly resistant to those ideas. Definitely put your health first - if it turns out they won't accomodate you, I'd start looking for a new job, ...


15

I'll admit, I'm not of the introverted type, but I've managed people who are, and respect their skills at adapting themselves and their environment. Based on watching others, here's some thoughts. Relocate? If the pattern is that the resident of B is yelling over your head to D (the far right) alot - and you're not needed in the mix, you might offer the ...


12

If anything your co-worker is doing makes you uncomfortable or is potentially dangerous for you but yet it would make you very uncomfortable to talk about then you should bring it up with your closest manager. Some people are too afraid to ask for a day off when feeling ill, bringing it up with the manager might just as well be a relief for the sick person ...


11

This is a tough issue. On one hand, there's no overt discrimination. Other women have gotten cubicles, all of them but you. And yet there must have been some criteria to determine who didn't get one, especially since it's not a seniority question either. I think you need to tread lightly. Obviously, you don't want to have anyone thinking that you believe it'...


11

I have sympathies for your co-worker (I can't work with clutter looking at me either), but I wouldn't consider it your problem, but mine to deal with, in the same way that I use headphones for screening out audio clutter. Having said that, if the area can be good for both you & your worker, then that's the best option, practically speaking. ...


10

Executive Summary Ignoring is a short-term solution with long-term consequences. I recommend: Understanding why the interruptions happen Removing as many reasons as possible for the interruptions Setting boundaries to minimize the interruptions that remain Understanding the Interruptions The first step to minimizing interruptions is understanding why ...


10

Am I allowed to ask how the seating arrangement was made? (meaning, I also don't know how it was made) Certainly. In almost every company, you are allowed to ask anything. I have very good work relationships with my direct supervisor and the man I was hired with. How should I handle this? You should just have a friendly chat with your direct ...


9

I've found that listening to music on my headphones works wonders. Just make sure that you can hear your desk phone ringing. If someone wants something badly enough from you, they will make the effort of getting up and approaching your desk. I'm a C# developer and I also find that if someone interrupts me in the middle of something technical like encrypting, ...


9

First, I'd recommend finding other medical treatment options if your current meds aren't helping. It sucks to be on meds that screw with you in other ways while not helping you with the problem you're having. They can even make the problem worse. Another option might be yoga or qidong / tai chi. I use this a lot myself to ease pain and stress. This can help ...


9

Probably this is not what you are looking for since that's not a research but an anecdotal evidence. Yet I found it to be much easier to focus on complex and time-consuming tasks when sitting in a quiet room alone or with just a couple of other programmers. My productivity drops sharply when people around are talking on the phone, having meetings, ...


9

When reorganizing cubicles, you must consider the following: Noise patterns - Software developers, for instance, can't be disturbed while they're coding; so consider grouping software developers together and away from the salespeople, who need to make phone calls. Natural Light - Many people prefer window seats, but most offices don't have enough window ...


8

I am of the opinion that: Closed Offices can increase collaboration. This sounds counter-intertuitive but it goes something like this: In an 'open' office area, folks are trying to concentrate and work, so several things happen: 1) They don't want to make noise that interrupts everyone just to ask 1 person a question. 2) They are not sure if their ...


8

Does your office have a whiteboard? If not, can you ask for one, or bring one of your own and install it yourself? Once you have a whiteboard two or three steps from your desk, you can get up, write and draw on it (I find many times my designs are improved by engaging large muscles in drawing them), step back from it and look at it, erase it and draw again,...


7

In cases where extreme quiet is truly desirable in the "cubicle farm", I've typically seen two solutions. The less desirable of the two seems to be the most common. The company provides nothing special, and folks simply wander out into the common hallways to conduct their personal calls. While it isn't completely private, most people don't pay attention to ...


7

At least one Microsoft building has small rooms tucked into hallways for this purpose. They have soundproof doors, comfy chairs, a landline for you to make local calls, and power. I have used one for a longish call when I was working in a team room and it was perfect. It was not near the kitchen or the bathroom, so people were unlikely to be nearby, but the ...


7

You have brought the issue up to management and have been ignored. Afterwards you escalated it to higher management and the issue is still persisting. This tells you everything you need to know: They don't care. So you now have the choice to either do mediocre work, be frustrated and continue working there under poor (and by the sound of it, very ...


6

I don't have a complete solution -- it is a matter of negotiation between you and your employer, and it seems like your current employer is not willing to negotiate much about it -- but I wanted to assure you that what you want and need makes sense; even if most companies ignore it. It is generally a good thing to think about a problem first, and only then ...


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