Don’t Be the Office Oaf – Be Aware of Office Etiquette
We have all experienced the Office Oaf who regularly blunders his or her way through the working day, disregarding the sensitivities of others, causing discomfort or irritation and regularly oversteps the socially acceptable norm.  Should anyone make mention of it, the Oaf tends to become defensive and deny any wrongdoing.  Often this is because the Oaf is either totally unaware of what would be good manners or simply is too self-absorbed. 
Office etiquette is a set of rules of conduct, which are designed to make working in an office more enjoyable and productive for all.  This is different from business etiquette, which is the code of conduct applied to business relationships and doing business professionally.  For example, knowing how to write a business letter is business etiquette.  Opening a door for a coworker carrying a load is office etiquette.  Office etiquette is based on good manners.  This is what helps people feel happy and comfortable in their office environment.
As a general rule, people should behave as they expect others to behave with them, and be mindful of the way they interact with others, and of the impact their attitude and activities have on coworkers. People who are courteous, polite, and thoughtful in an office environment will tend to be valued as employees and coworkers.
Office etiquette revolves around making the physical environment of the office pleasant for everyone. A few pointers to remember are:
·       Avoid strong scents, which includes perfumes and foods, which may distract or cause allergies to flare.
·       Clean up after yourself, whether you are preparing a cup of tea in the kitchen or leaving a room after a presentation.
·       Keeping your workspace neat and clean.
·       Keep dirt and your rubbish in office kitchens and bathrooms under control.
·       In an open plan office be aware of the volume of your voice when speaking with others or on the phone so as not to disturb others.
·       Put your mobile on silent or vibrate. 
·       Always put your phone on silent during meetings out of respect for others.
·       If you like to listen to music while working, use ear or headphones.
·       Avoid office gossip, politics and long, personal conversations during company time.
·       Ask permission before borrowing items and always return them promptly.
·       Ask permission, or knock, before entering another’s workspace or office.
·       Avoid conducting personal business during company time.
·       Follow the office dress code.  If there isn’t one, dress neatly and professionally to project a positive image to all those you come in contact with.
Professionalism goes a long way in an office environment.   Avoid being the Office Oaf.  Office etiquette is all about being respectful of others and helping to make the work environment a pleasant place to be for everyone.
Jane is a career coach, life coach and director of Style Success, coaching for success.  Contact or get regular inspirational and job search tips: click ‘like!’

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