This week, there was another interesting Q&A session over at The Globe and Mail. An employee wants advice on how to get a chatty cubicle neighbor to shut up. Obviously, the coworker wasn’t taking the subtle hints sent her way. The responses include having a frank talk with the coworker, involving a supervisor, using noise canceling headphones, or moving to a different workstation.
A simpler solution might be to make short cubicles taller with panel extenders. Nothing says “Let’s have some peace and quiet” like an actual, physical barrier between coworkers. Sometimes, out of sight is out of mind for employees who tend to talk too much. Often, highly talkative people are having their own problems focusing on the work at hand. They get easily triggered into starting a conversation at the least visual distraction. So, the less stimulation they have around their workstation the better. The higher cubicle walls can actually help all parties pay more attention to productivity.