When starting a new job, it is always best to try avoiding bad office etiquette. Every office is different, but by trying to adapt our helpful tips to how to conduct yourself will ensure you are not the colleague everyone wishes they didn’t have to work with.
Respect others need to work
It is important to remember the primary reason for being at the office- to work. Just because your colleagues are sitting nearby, does not mean they are available for conversation all of the time. It is important to respect one another’s privacy. Don’t read over their shoulder, assume they are free to help you or distract others with constant conversation.
If you need to take a personal call, then where possible go outside of the work space into a communal break area or outside. If you have to take a call, then try to keep it short and arrange to call them back at a more convenient time.
Loud conversations in the office can be very distracting to others trying to work in the office. Try to keep conversations to an appropriate level, unless it is something everyone is involved in.
If possible mute your computer and phones. It can be distracting if there are sounds every time you get a new email or text through.
Be aware of smells
In a small office, smells can be magnified. Eating food which has a stronger smell is best avoided eaten at desks. Try to eat this in the kitchen or communal areas.It is also important to make sure you are aware of your personal hygiene as no one wants to be smelling body odour whilst trying to focus on their work tasks. Although bad body smells are less than ideal, strong perfume or aftershave smells can be just as bad… So, try not to overdo it.
A messy desk can act as a distraction to others and could also detract from the professional image which your company is trying to portray. Make sure you keep your belongings confined to a small area near you rather than scattering you stuff across the office. Always make sure at the end of the working day you take a few moments to sort out your desk space and tidy it up. If you share a desk space with someone, you should clean up all personal items like coffee cups and office.
It is also important to keep communal area clean. Some offices are not maintained and therefore are not cleaned. If you leave a mess in the kitchen then make sure you wipe it up. You should also make sure you do your washing up and do not leave dirty mugs, plates or cups just on the side. The same applies for bathrooms. Make sure you leave these areas as you would like to find them.
As they say tidy space, tidy mind.
When you need to take a personal call in the office, make sure you do not sit in the conference/shared meeting space for long calls or treat that space as your own office. This space is for everyone to use, and if one person is always in there whenever someone else goes to use it, people will start to get frustrated.
When you are sick, stay at home! Everyone would rather you take a day to get over the illness then spread it around the office so everyone gets it. If you do come into work when you are ill, make sure you have lots of hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes on hand to give everything a wipe down every now and again.
If you are running late to a meeting or for a call, then try to stick to the 1:2 rule where possible. For every 1 minute you are running late, try to give them 2 minutes notice. For example, it you are running 10 minutes late, try to give them 20 minutes notice. This will allow for the person/people you are meeting with to make allowances.