How do you do morning greetings with skips who work in close proximity in open cubicles?

It is easy for me to do morning greetings with my 3 directs, who each have offices like me. But my 12 skips are in an open space (low wall cubicles), surrounded by another 20 people not in my group, where they can see and hear everyone walking through on their way to the break room. I'd like to greet them because, at a minimum, it seems rude to walk through on my way to the break room without greeting them. It always feels uncomfortable because all interaction is visible and audible to everyone (thus disruptive, and all eyes are on me as the boss), and if I spend more time chatting with one than another it could look like favoritism. On the other hand if I go from one to the next asking the same "how's it going" that seems robotic, and everyone overhears and sees it.

I've considered just shouting a general "good morning" to the whole group. That also seems disruptive, albeit quicker.

The 12 are positioned in 3 quads of 4 desks so I could also stop in each quad and do a general "good morning, how is everyone" to 4 at once (3 times) rather than attempt individual greetings to 12.


lincolnrozelle's picture

If you have skip-level meetings occaisonally and get to know them a little it will be less awkward. (There's a cast for that.)

Depending on the layout, a friendly smile and wave may be enough on many days. It may make sense not to disrupt them when they are seated at their desks working, but do engage with them if they are using the break-room, using the same lift/elevator/entrance etc...

Van1's picture

Thanks for the response.

jrb3's picture
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He exchanged "Good morning" with the nearest person or people, and kept moving.  If someone was standing or going the same direction, they could travel along with some small chit-chat -- of course, the director had briefed us earlier that it was okay (even welcome) to have this transition, but please keep to non-work topics until he'd first come out of his office in the morning, coffee in hand.

Seems to have worked well for him.  I enjoyed working in that particular group!

Van1's picture

Interesting, thanks.

billjw's picture

When I worked in a contact centre as a leader, I made a point of walking around saying hello to everyone who was in. If they were on a call, it was just a quick, silent wave and move on, few discussions but it is important to make contact. I also occasionally got some great insights as to what was happening on the floor. Now in a different role with moslty colleagues,  not direct reports, I still do a quick walk around and say hello. You never know what value it might create.