Like it or not, our office cubicles say a lot about who we are. If you’re trying to remain incognito at work, your first step should be to ask for unassigned seating, because if you sit in one place for more than a day, you’re going to leave a mark. This is probably the major reason James Bond does not have an office cubicle: too much opportunity to give away secrets to his enemies. (The other reason is that it would immediately turn the Bond movies into comedies.)
What does your cubicle say about you? Depending on how you keep your work area, we might learn that:
1. You’re a Neat Freak
If you’re a tidy person at work, you’re probably a tidy person in all areas of your life. For instance, we have never failed to see a correlation between how someone keeps their desk and how they keep their bathroom at home. Become friends with a tidy coworker and go over to their house for poker night. When you use the bathroom, you’ll notice that their bathtub is cleaner than an operating room. When you leave the bathroom, you’ll probably be asked to leave the house, because it’s so creepy that you’re staring at their bathtub.
2. You’re a Big Sports Fan
Office environments and sports paraphernalia go hand in hand. It starts small: a pennant, perhaps, or a lone bobblehead of your favorite sports figure. Before you know it, your computer is being crowded out by an army of figurines and commemorative mugs. It gets worse as playoffs approach, especially if your team is still in the game. By that time, big sports fans start coming to work entirely dressed in their team uniform, causing their coworkers to wonder if they actually think they’re playing for the team.
3. You Love to Travel
Some people put up pictures of their families, or their pets, or their dream house. You have photos of palm trees and mountains and fields of flowers, far away. The world is your home, and you like to go there every chance you get. Either that, or you’re just way better at imagining your happy place than your coworkers. Come to think of it, can we borrow that snapshot of the Tuscan villa?
4. You Are Very Proud of Your Honors Student
We would make fun of your pictures of little Jimmy holding his various awards, but it’s pretty clear we’re all going to work for him someday. So tell him we send our best regards, OK? (It’s never too early to start kissing up.)
5. You Don’t Plan to Be Here Long
Your cube isn’t so much tidy as it is totally barren. You’re the person who has a totally empty desk, except for a pencil holder with one pen in it and a dusty packet of Post-it notes. In fact, dust might be the only decoration you have: you never bothered to wipe down your space when you moved in. We, your coworkers, must conclude that you either live entirely in your own head … or that we probably won’t be drawing your name in next year’s Secret Santa.