Office Etiquette 101

25 Jan
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I will be the first person to tell you that I’m not perfect. No one is, and this comes across especially when you work in close proximity to others for 8+ hours, 5 days a week. Oh yes, I’m talking about working in an office.

Yeahhhhh… I’m gonna have to ask you to come in on Saturday…

With that being said, there are some things that tick me off in the office. I work in a relatively quiet office space. Our floor is broken up into 4 sections: NW – my bureau; SW – server room; NE – another bureau; SE – conference rooms and maintenance offices. The two bureaus combined don’t even equal 20 people, and the second bureau only moved up here a few weeks ago and has livened up things a bit. Typically, our bureau doesn’t shout or yell. If we need to talk to someone, we call (if it’s quick – we’re not that lazy) or walk over. Even if I’m only having a conversation with my neighbor, I still get up and walk to her desk because I don’t like to disturb others working around me.

Without further ado, here are some dos and don’ts that I think are appropriate to discuss and definitely within the bounds of being reasonable.

1. Cell phones: there are plenty of empty rooms. This is a workspace so if you need to talk on your cell phone, please go to one of those rooms or a break room somewhere else. Yesterday there was a man I didn’t recognize wandering around our floor talking loudly on a cell phone; I assume he was in a meeting in one of our conference rooms. I gave him many a death glare because this is a place of work. It might have been the typical lunch hour, but I was not on lunch, meaning I was working and you were being loud and disruptive.

2. Eating: eating at your desk is an interesting dilemma. I am a very quiet eater because I am aware of my surroundings. Some people are not. Some people eat loudly, chewing cud like a cow. They slurp, slop, crunch and munch and it is infuriating. There’s nothing I find more distracting than loud eating. This goes for gum-chewing as well.

3. Hygienic upkeep: seriously? Do any and all of this at home; clipping your nails, doing your hair, your full make-up routine, whatever. This is not work behavior. The only time this is acceptable is if you do it in your office’s locker room (if you’re lucky enough to have a gym at your work). There’s someone in my office that clips her nails. It’s not just occasional; it’s something she does at work often. It can be heard through our entire bureau’s space. Clip. Clip. CLIP. CLIP. I get near my breaking point with this. Brushing your teeth I can understand, but this is obviously something done in the confines of a restroom and therefore is not distracting. I keep a mirror at my desk but it’s for application of lip gloss or a bobby pin or two. But if you’ve got a bathroom cabinet’s worth of hygiene products, you’re doing something wrong.

These are just three things that I find to be important. Obviously it depends on your specific office environment. I’m sure some are livelier than others but generally, being a cooperative, sensitive human being in an office is the best way to go. Not sure if something you do would be considered rude? Put yourself in another person’s shoes and see how they might feel.

Are there any office behaviors that you find repulsive or annoying? Any tips on how to work with people that aren’t as sensitive to others? One of my tips is to listen to music. I put my headphones in and listen to something I can work to.


2 Responses to “Office Etiquette 101”

  1. Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz January 25, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    I HAAAAAAAAAAATE when people eat loudly near me. Ug!

    • paigetopus January 25, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Seriously! It makes me want to do angry, rash and hurtful things!

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