Maintain confidentiality, privacy despite working in a cube.

PositionCompliance Corner

Being in HR requires the ability to maintain confidentiality. That can be challenging if you do not have an office with a door you can shut and lock. Here are some ways you can overcome the challenges of working in a cubicle.

Pick an optimal location for your cube. Ask for a spot in a far corner, rather than in the center, surrounded by other cubicles.

Tip: Position your computer so it is not facing out, and invest in a privacy screen for your monitor.

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 employees see you enter the conference room or you ask an employee to meet you there, use the room for as many purposes as possible, and not just for terminations or breaking other bad news.

If the conference room is frequently used by others, work with executives who have offices to use their office when they are out. For emergency situations (e.g., an upset employee), arrange a code word so the executive understands that your need to use their office is immediate.

You may also have to get creative and walk and talk with employees; you may find more privacy outdoors (e.g., parking lot, smoking area), in the lobby, in a file room or supply closet, or in a noisy corner of the warehouse.

Use locks, real and virtual. Make sure all of your file cabinets and drawers have locks, and make sure access to the keys is limited. Have your computer's screensaver come up after a short period of inactivity, and password-protect it. Set up your phone with a unique password for accessing voicemails.

Good habit: Whenever you leave your desk, even if for just a few minutes, secure confidential papers and computer files. You never know who will drop by, and you could be gone longer than you expect.

Consider the height of cubicle walls. Taller walls may seem more private, but even a six-foot wall won't prevent...

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