Stop My Supervisor From Changing Our Cubicles?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about re-assigning cubicles:

My supervisor is planning to switch employee’s cubicles around, and many people are uncomfortable with this. So I want to change her mind about this because I don’t think is beneficial for the company. Could you help me with some facts?

Signed, My Space, My Place

Dear My Space, My Place:

Thank you for sharing your concerns. I need some more details to help me understand the situation so I can provide some thoughts:

1. How many people will be switched?

2. What does the supervisor say is the reason for the switch?

3. Why do people not want to switch? Is it just that they are comfortable where they are, or will they lose a window space or not be working next to a friend, or some other reason?

4. Have people talked to the supervisor to express their thoughts? If so, how did she respond?

5. Could it be that a manager has told the supervisor to make a switch, or do you think it is completely the supervisor’s idea? 6. What is the relationship between the supervisor and employees in other areas? Is this one of many things that bothers people, or generally is everyone happy with the way she supervises?If you can give me a brief answer to those, I will be able to understand the situation better.Often when people are switched around at work, the reason has to do with performance or behavior problems.

Sometimes it is because individuals sitting near each other are in conflict or they are so close they spend too much time talking. Often some employees have asked for the move for personal reasons, but don’t want to let others know, so they act like they don’t want the switch either! Sometimes the switch is done to shake things up a bit when it appears people are in a rut.

I think it is preferable to deal with the problems, rather than moving people out of a work area that is comfortable for them. However, the role of the supervisor is not only to keep a satisfied work group, but also to ensure effectiveness. That may be what the supervisor thinks she is doing!Why do you think it is not in the best interest of the company? That will be what she will ask you. Do you think work CANNOT be done correctly or efficiently with a new cubicle arrangement? Is there some aspect of the move that will, without a doubt, harm morale to such an extent that work will suffer? Those are things she will certainly want to consider–and if you have evidence or good logic, she might be persuaded. Reply and let me know more details about the cubicle switch and I’ll respond right away. Adaptation is part of creating a WEGO spirit and so is consultation about space.

Tina Lewis Rowe