Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Lifestyle

In our busy lives, it often feels like we spend more time in the office than at home. Work can get crazy, and sometimes, our manners take a back seat. Workplace etiquette is all about how we act and interact at work, from how we dress to how we chat with our colleagues or handle shared spaces. With evolving ideas about work and shifting societal norms, office etiquette can sometimes be confusing. Regardless of cultural variations, maintaining basic office etiquette is a way to show respect for the people we work with and the job we do together.

Good Office Etiquette

Good office etiquette covers a lot, especially given the changes in how we work in recent years, including remote setups and virtual communication. Going the extra mile sometimes means arriving a bit early, depending on your job and office culture. It’s a signal to your boss that you’re a go-getter.

Many offices are shared spaces, so cleaning up after yourself is a big deal. It helps you get along with your colleagues. Additionally, looking sharp and presentable is important unless you’re in a super relaxed work setting that embraces flip-flops and t-shirts. This etiquette applies to everything, from weekly meetings with the boss to work parties.

It’s also wise to be ready to share your thoughts when your boss asks for input in meetings. It’s a chance to showcase your engagement and professionalism, contributing to productive discussions and decision-making.

While office etiquette training typically covers professional boundaries related to issues like gender, religion, and sexuality, it’s essential to respect your colleagues’ time and personal space.

Just as there’s good workplace etiquette, there are some things you should avoid. Mastering office etiquette might not be rocket science, but it’s the key to a pleasant and productive work environment. It’s about showing respect for your fellow workers and understanding the shared spaces where you all spend so much time.

To help you avoid these potential pitfalls, we’ve compiled a list of office behaviors you should avoid.

  • Oversharing Too Much Personal Information

    At the office, it’s usually best to leave your personal problems at the door. Sharing too much about your personal life can make your coworkers uncomfortable, and it might affect your professional image. We all have our ups and downs, but oversharing personal issues, like that big breakup or crazy weekend, can make your coworkers feel a bit awkward. Imagine you’re in the middle of a team meeting discussing a project, and someone suddenly launches into the intricacies of their dating life. But, when it’s an emergency, like someone in the family falling sick or a personal health issue, don’t hesitate to let the right people know.

    Businessman looking at co-worker talking on telephone

    Robert Daly/ Getty Images

  • Unspoken Office Food Rules

    In the realm of office etiquette, there are some unspoken rules regarding food. First, it’s just common sense not to talk with your mouth full. Secondly, it’s a clear no-no to help yourself to someone else’s food from the office fridge. Lastly, be mindful of what you heat in the microwave. Strong-smelling dishes like onion and anchovy pizza can be a bit overwhelming for everyone else. Don’t forget about popcorn in the microwave. Burnt popcorn smell isn’t pleasant for anyone. So, keep an eye on it while it’s popping.

    Woman office worker holding breath, pinching her nose with fingers, confused with disgusted odor.

    Khosrork/ Getty Images

  • Personal Grooming

    While it’s great to stay fresh and clean at work, you’d typically want to steer clear of doing your personal grooming stuff in the office. That means no nail clipping, nail polishing, nose-picking, or any other grooming rituals that might make your coworkers cringe. Save that stuff for your personal time.

    Woman cleaning cuticles with cuticle pusher

    Kerkez/ Getty Images

  • Unnecessary Noise

    In a cramped office with thin walls and no private doors to shut, you should be considerate of the shared space. It’s a good idea to keep personal calls and loud chit-chat to a minimum, especially in open workspaces. Nobody wants their concentration derailed, right? And speaking of noise, save the rock concert-level music and the crazy loud social media videos for after hours.

    Young professional woman singing loudly enough to annoy a colleague

    CREATISTA/ Getty Images

  • Messy Workspace

    Maintaining a tidy workspace is a must. You wouldn’t want to become known as the person with the messy cubicle that has an odd odor, right? Whether you have a desk all to yourself or not, keeping it clean and organized can do wonders for your daily productivity and overall work experience.

    Stressed businessman holding his head in his hands

    thodonal/ Getty Images

  • Poor Hygiene

    Showing up to work with poor hygiene is a no-go. For starters, it’s all about keeping things professional and respecting your colleagues. Nobody wants to sit next to a coworker with funky smells, right? Feeling fresh and clean can boost your mood and your work game. If you ever need a quick hygiene fix, no shame in stepping away to use some deodorant or give your teeth a brush in the bathroom.

    Man showing a sweaty and stinky underarm

    AntonioGuillem/ Getty Images

  • Personal Space & Boundaries

    Whether you’re in an open office or a cubicle doesn’t matter. Respecting personal space is a must. Being considerate of your colleagues’ belongings and giving them room to breathe is key. It ensures a productive and respectful office atmosphere where everyone can focus without feeling crowded or uncomfortable.

    Mature and young businessmen discussing during meeting in boardroom. Business executive working with apprentice in creative office. Multiethnic business team in smart casual with partner working together on laptop.

    Ridofranz/ Getty Images

  • Overdoing It With Foul Language

    While a slip of a swear word might happen to the best of us in the office, you can’t predict what language might rub a coworker or boss the wrong way. To keep the peace, it’s a good plan to steer clear of strong language in your office chats and messages. And when it comes to those work emails, stick to pro-speak. It’s just safer and smoother that way.

    Businesswoman screaming hysterically at computer monitor in office. Shocked woman financial mistake bad news and online blackout

    megaflopp/ Getty Images

  • Leaving It How You Found It

    Leave things as you found them. For instance, if you happen to use up the last sheet of copy paper, it’s a common courtesy to make sure it gets replaced. This small act of consideration contributes to a cooperative atmosphere and ensures that the office operates seamlessly. It’s a simple yet effective way to demonstrate respect for your colleagues and the workplace as a whole.

    stress young asian businesswoman looking at paper stuck in printer at office

    Tatomm/ Getty Images

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