After working in the same office for several years, it’s easy to settle in and begin viewing the workplace as an extension of your home. Unfortunately, regardless of how long you’ve worked for a company, the workplace isn’t your home and, therefore, should not be treated as such. If office etiquette has been lacking in your workplace as of late, here is a refresher course.
Respect the Breakroom
The breakroom is a sacred location in any office. Breakrooms are where employees go to escape a stressful day at work and are also where most bonds with coworkers begin. As such, have respect for this sacred space by following these tips:
- Pick up after yourself - Reserve your slob-like tendencies for home. If your sandwich leaves crumbs on the breakroom table, be courteous to others by wiping them up. Also, if you notice a mess left by someone else who hasn’t yet taken a workplace etiquette course, clean the mess rather than ignoring it.
- Don’t mooch - Never take another employee’s food from the breakroom fridge, even if the food isn’t labeled. Eating another employee’s food is beyond rude and is a sure way to lose friends in the office.
- Mind your volume - While it’s acceptable to let loose and relax a little while in the breakroom, avoid speaking loudly while on your cellphone. Also, if your company’s breakroom has a TV, keep the volume at an acceptable level and avoid assuming that every other employee in the breakroom wants to watch the same program as you.
Be a Replacer
From the office bathroom to the printer room, when you notice that an item needs to be replaced, do it. While the replacing of a toilet paper roll or printer paper may not be in your job description, the duty is on the checklist of proper workplace etiquette.
When you see that another employee is overwhelmed with work duties, offer your assistance. This act of camaraderie will help to strengthen the workplace culture and will ensure you are always viewed as someone willing to lend a helping hand. By offering assistance to coworkers in need, those coworkers will be more likely to help you out if needed in the future.
Take it Outside
Few things are more annoying in the office than trying to concentrate on a work project while listening to a coworker talking loudly on a cellphone. If you must make a personal call while on the job, take the call outside. The loud discussion of personal matters while on the phone is disruptive and has no place in a communal workspace.
Follow the Bathroom Rules
While the rules of etiquette are important to follow in all workspaces, they are of extreme importance in the workplace bathroom. First, never talk on your cellphone in the office bathroom. In fact, don’t even bring your phone into the bathroom. It’s weird and unnecessary. Second, always thoroughly wash your hands after doing your business. Finally, don’t talk to a coworker in the next stall over unless you’re certain they’re comfortable carrying on a bathroom conversation.
Believe it or not, the workplace isn’t an extension of your home. There are rules of etiquette that must be followed if you hope to remain in good standing with coworkers and avoid being the subject of gossip.