Get Up and Out Of Your Cubicle!
Get Up and Out Of Your Cubicle!
The days of aspiring to the corner office are on their way out. Cubicles have been a common office fixture for the last 30 years, and are not going away anytime soon. More and more companies are getting rid of the traditional offices, and are going for more open workspaces, with the assumption that this will engender more collaboration and teamwork.

Walk into any office in America, and what do you see? Rows of cubicles, with their inhabitants furiously working away at their computers, with their noise canceling earbuds firmly planted in their ears. So much for collaboration!

If open floor plan offices were envisioned to foster more free flowing ideas and creativity, the reality is that they’ve stifled it. The modern office worker may feel constrained by sitting out in the open, and may opt for things like noise canceling headphones in order to maintain a semblance of privacy.

What you might not realize is that staying in your cubicle and cranking out your work while you are plugged into your iPhone can actually be a detriment to your career. What do you mean? I’m super productive this way, and my bosses love my work! This is exactly the problem. You’re so super productive and focused on things like cranking out your reports that you never get up out of your chair and go talk to people. Your bosses love your work because it’s always on time and accurate, but are they coming to you to help them come up with creative ways to solve problems? Or are they content to have you quietly do the work that you’ve always done?

Although you cannot change your office’s layout, you can change the way you function within it. Get up. Walk around. Talk to people. Introduce yourself. Instead of IMing, texting, or emailing your bosses, walk over and speak to them. Volunteer for special projects. Let your bosses and your peers know that you are more valuable than the work you currently do.

This is all about personal branding, and you want to ensure that you are branded as a valuable team member who has creative ideas, and not just a name on an email. People who don’t speak up and promote themselves, no matter how productive they are or how valued their work is, are rarely recognized with promotions or access to management or new and exciting projects. Their bosses are quite content to have them quietly go along with the status quo. The onus is on you to set a different expectation for yourself and to get out of your comfort zone. In the end, it will be to your benefit.