Since the average person spends eight hours a day at work – which is a long time to be slogging away – we all owe it to each other to make sure that our work environment is as pleasant and productive as possible. This means adhering to certain social norms and practising good office etiquette, which can help to make the daily grind a happier time for everyone.
KEEP IT DOWN
In every office, there is at least one person who has never learnt to use their ‘inside voice’, and you don’t want to be that person. Managing your volume is important so as not to distract people from what they may be busy with and to keep the space peaceful. And on that note, watch your vocabulary too – using choice language at any volume might raise a few eyebrows or offend colleagues.
While we might let dirty dishes pile up at home every now and then or skip the odd shower, when working in close quarters with other people, one needs to take them, and their senses, into consideration. Clean up your mess in the office kitchen, toss food that has expired (rather than letting it turn to compost in the communal fridge) and make sure you are clean and fresh before you leave the house.
We all like to gossip with our friends, but when it comes to the workplace, starting or perpetuating rumours and disclosing confidential information could have serious implications for you, your colleagues or the company. Not to mention that speaking about other people behind their back is hurtful and can lead to tension in the office. We’re not in high school anymore, so be sure to keep what you say about others complimentary.
SHARING IS CARING
When it comes to being praised for a job well done, don’t take all the credit if it was a group effort. How often do we really accomplish things on our own? Be a team player and not a glory hog; it will help to strengthen camaraderie with your colleagues, and this may inspire others to return the favour with future projects. Besides, a little humility goes a long way.
As the saying goes, no man is an island, so it is important to foster favourable relationships with your colleagues, not just to make your current job better, but for the future of your career as well. Be courteous, take an interest in others and remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. These small things can fall by the wayside in a high-pressure environment, so try to be a person who makes a positive interpersonal impact.
One word: professionalism. Whether it means arriving on time in the mornings, dressing appropriately, taking your personal calls outside or simply being meticulous in your work, remember that you are a team player and that your actions can, and most likely will, affect those around you. Always being professional not only makes everyone’s lives easier, but will stand you in good stead for sterling recommendations and a bright future career.
[Image by Cowoman via Unsplash]