Pandemic affecting your office layout? Keep HR confidential, even in a cubicle.

The post-pandemic workplace will look very different. Many organizations plan to do away with private offices and move to shared work pods as more employees move to a home/office hybrid schedule.

But conducting HR duties often requires confidentiality and respecting employee privacy. That can be difficult if your office doesn't have a door you can shut and lock. But it is possible (even Toby in "The Office" pulled it off).

If you currently (or plan to) do your HR work from a nonprivate area, here are three practical strategies:

1 Pick an optimal location. Insist on a cube in a far corner, rather than in the center of an open-space office.

2 Establish other locations. Use a spare conference room for conversations that require privacy.

Warning: Staff will panic every time you enter the conference room if you only use it to discipline or fire. Invite employees into the conference room to receive...

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