Tuesday 21 July 2015

10 Tips on Office Etiquette

Don’t we all have that one colleague, who talks too loudly on personal calls? Or the one who sneezes all over without an ‘excuse me’? Office Etiquette is very important in the work environment today. What people think of you is dependent on a lot of factors other than your performance. It is always a good idea to put your best foot forward, whether at your office desk or at the lunch table. 

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind around your office:

  1. Stay at home when sick:  Why would you want to infect the rest of the office? Its okay to take a day off if you are sick. If you do end up going to office with a cold or a cough, do be careful to use tissues while coughing or sneezing. You can excuse yourself from shaking hands with others. 
  2. Eat lunch in the cafeteria: Most offices have a designated area for lunch and coffee breaks. Avoid eating food at your desk. Your room as well the rest of the office area will start smelling of food you’ve consumed (read  ). At the lunch table, clean up after yourself. 
  3. Keep phone volumes low: I’ve seen people at offices do conference calls with the door open or use speakerphones in open offices thereby disturbing colleagues. If you are working in an open area, you could try and be soft or step into a meeting room while making or receiving calls whether official or personal.
  4. Keep mobile ringtones in check: Ideally keep your ring tone on low volume or on vibration so you don’t disturb your colleagues. Bollywood songs, whistling or other such ringtones are highly avoidable in the corporate environment.
  5. Don’t gossip: A highly avoidable habit is gossiping about colleagues and indulging in politics.  Everyone stands to lose this game.
  6. Don’t take things from people’s desks without asking: The stapler may be company property but it is still not advisable to take it off someone’s desk without permission. Always ask to borrow things and be mindful to return the item as well.
  7. Hold back on the perfume: While it is great that you want to smell pleasant at work, do consider that your favorite perfume may not agree with someone else’s sensibilities. Wear light perfumes at work.
  8. Ask before changing the AC settings: Everyone has a different preference for the temperature in the room. In case you need to change the AC settings ask your colleagues. You may be surprised to know that everyone thought the room was too cold but decided not to say anything.
  9. Follow the Dress Code: Diligently follow the dress code of the organisation. Even casual Fridays call for conservative dressing.  Don’t wear colors that are too loud or clothes that are revealing.  
  10. Keep your desk clean and organised: A cluttered desk does not indicate you are working very hard. While personalizing your workplace is a good idea, going overboard with pictures is not advisable. One picture of your loved ones and an inspirational message should be good.

Do share your list of dos and don'ts of office etiquette.


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