One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your career is not realising that there are certain rules and decorum to abide by in the workplace. You would be amazed to know how even the tiniest of things can force a wedge between you and your co-workers! Smelling your perfume day after day, hearing you chew or chomp your lunch at your desk or having to listen to your personal calls can drive them to the brink. Many a time, not following or understanding workplace etiquettes can also communicate in a wrong way!
Office etiquettes are increasingly becoming important as we are navigating into a global market! More and more offices are laying a lot of stress on having impeccable manners at work. Because a workplace with impolite, dismissive or sloppy employees is one that is unpleasant, unproductive and ripe for litigation. And this kind of behaviour, in the due course of time, can hurt the business and lead to an unhealthy professional atmosphere.
So let’s revisit some workplace rules to stop you from making an on-the-job faux pas:
Being punctual speaks volumes about your personal values. If you’re always late, you send across a silent message that you don’t care! Besides this, you also hamper your work productivity for the day. Whereas being on time shows your dedication and sincerity for the job. Even organizations value employees who understand the significance of time management.
Respect the privacy of others:
Workplace etiquette is much more than mere verbal courtesy. Respecting your co-worker’s personal space is also a part of the deal. Offices, even if they have cubicles or open desks, should be respected as belonging to the ‘owner.’ Never enter the cabin of your co-workers without knocking at the door. Regularly popping your head over the cubicles of others, reading their e-mails or eavesdropping conversations of others are all examples of bad office etiquettes.
Monitor the volume of your conversations:
Remember that you are in a professional space; appropriate workplace etiquette advocates that you modulate your voice inside the office. Be sensitive to people around you who are busy with their work and might get disturbed with your loud voice. Also keep your phone on vibrate as the music of your ring tone could be disturbing.
Your attire speaks volumes about your personality, professionalism and attitude. A dishevelled and untidy appearance can imply to co-workers and clients that the company or people involved aren’t worth the effort to present yourself tastefully. So, even in a casual atmosphere, you should err on the side of caution. If the dress code is doubtful, it’s always safer to dress on the conservative side.
Pull the plug on office gossip:
One of the mortal sins in a professional space is indulging in too much of mean-spirited gossip! A bit of harmless gossip at times is ok to keep the work atmosphere healthy but talking about people behind their backs is disrespectful. It can also have a major negative impact on your professional image.
Be sensitive to smells and scents around you:
Don’t forget that smell travels. When you absolutely can’t leave your desk for a meal, choose food without a strong aroma or odour and avoid disposing your trash in your own wastebasket. Instead use the kitchen bin. When it comes to perfumes there are “a lot of people who overdo it.” It’s unsettling and people around could be allergic to it. So, if you can’t resist it then go easy on it.
Think before you speak:
Sure, your close friends “get” your dry sense of humour and blasé outlook, but you should keep your personality idiosyncrasies in check while dealing with your co-workers. Anything you say or do will reflect your personal self. Start by becoming a good listener. This ability alone will lessen conflicts and misunderstandings and help you get your point across. It’s ok to have a strong point of view, but pushing those on your co-workers or picking up fights with them is something which is not acceptable in the workplace.
Keep your office clean:
Proper etiquettes at your workplace also include keeping the office space clean. Do your part in keeping the area hygienic and organized. Use office equipments with care to avoid any damage. In case something gets out of order, inform the right people in charge of the maintenance. Also chip in to keep the common areas like restrooms and pantry clean.
Remember: Apart from your work productivity, giving due importance to workplace etiquette is very crucial for your overall professional growth.