HR from a cube: Overcome the privacy risks.


Those increasingly popular open-space floor plans may improve collaboration, but they also increase the risks for jobs like HR that require privacy and confidentiality.

Wide open spaces also increase stress. A recent Robert Half survey asked employees if their workspace made them feel relaxed. While 59% in private offices said yes, that number fell to 31% for workers in cubicles and 25% in open floor plans.

Here are six tips for doing your HR work in a less-than-private space:

  1. Pick an optimal location. Explain why you need a spot in a far corner, not in the center. Position your computer so it is not facing out. Get a monitor privacy screen.

  2. Secure other locations for privacy. Use a spare conference room for calls or meetings that require privacy. Good habit: So as not to induce fear anytime you ask an employee to meet you there, use the room for as many purposes as possible. You may also have to get creative and walk and talk with employees.

  3. Use locks, both real and virtual ones. Keep locks on all of your file cabinets and drawers, and limit access to the keys. Have your computer's screen saver come up after a short period of inactivity, and password-protect it. When you step away from your desk, secure...

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