There are so many petty things we do at home and in the everyday reality of our lives that we don’t think twice about. Normal unimportant stuff. But put in the context of a work environment, where you have neighbor colleagues close by, all of a sudden some of this normal trivial stuff becomes inappropriate. This is where this office etiquette list can come in handy.
Working Close Together
And the list may be longer today than it would have been many years ago. As many companies have followed the trend over the past few years of creating more open-office spaces for their employees. Allowing them to save money on expensive rents and creating a more collaborative environment by sitting people close together.
But as with any proximity, comes some unspoken rules, linked to being aware of others in what we do — e.g. having empathy and respect for our colleagues.
So with the help of some of my own colleagues at work, I completed this list of bad habits people should be encouraged to drop.
Sort of a list of commandments that could be hanged on a wall in any office to put these unspoken rules into words!
12 Commandments of the Office Etiquette List of Not so Petty Things
- You shall… not eat fish in the working area. Do not heat up a fish plate inside the working area.
- You shall…avoid distracting your neighbor co-workers with stinky odors. Discard your lunch leftovers outside of the working area.
- You shall…not count on a the cleaning personnel to pick up after you. Clean up after using the kitchen or coffee-room.
- You shall…not flee an accident scene. Wash off any stain (or report the problem to the person in charge) after accidentally dropping food or coffee in the working area.
- You shall… do your personal hygiene tasks at home. For example do not clip your nails at work.
- You shall…beware not to make too much body noises. Blow your nose into a tissue instead of sniffing repeatedly.
- You shall…smell good or smell nothing at all. Wear deodorant and refrain from wearing strong-smelling perfumes.
- You shall…keep your voice down. Avoid speaking loudly, and go to a meeting room if you need to be on speaker phone for a call.
- You shall…cut the beeps and funny rings. Put your cell phone to silent mode.
- You shall…manage window shades in harmony with your neighbors. Find a happy medium solution with the window screens so that you and your co-workers can all have a decent image on your computer screens.
- You shall…speak a language your colleagues can understand. Avoid talking with a colleague in a language no one else speaks.
- You shall…apply the motto “fast pay make fast friends”. Do not forget to reimburse a colleague who generously lent you his/her hard-earned money.