No matter how flexible or laid-back you are, the workplace is a social space, and therefore there are certain rules of office etiquette that govern good behavior. This is because some activities can be annoying for the rest of the team, and even affect their productivity.
We share some of the main ones that will help promote a good work environment. Take into account that to motivate this type of attitude, you must preach by example and, if necessary, put it in writing.
Office etiquette rules
- Don’t eat in the officeespecially highly seasoned or strong-smelling foods (such as tuna or onion) as they can be very annoying.
- Do not talk on the phone about personal matters. Simple as that. No one is interested in your conversations, so make the simple effort to head out into the hallway or a vacant meeting room. Never use speakerphone mode unless you are completely alone.
- Do not say big words, even if you are very upset. If you find it difficult to control yourself, remember that this type of attitude only shows your lack of respect for others.
- If you want to listen to music, use headphones. Not everyone likes the same type of music, so you shouldn’t “force” them to share with you.
- Do not chat with other colleagues about irrelevant topics and less from one side of the room to the other out loud. This creates unproductive distractions for the rest of the team.
- If you are going to turn the air conditioning on or off (or open the door) ask the rest of the classmates. However, keep in mind that working in heat can decrease people’s concentration.
- Put your cell phone on vibrate. If your smartphone rings constantly (and with the same melody) you can disturb others.
- Do not spray perfumes or lotions, unless it is necessary or the others agree. The same goes for your own lotion; avoid putting too much or it is a very sweet scent.
- Try to keep your place (and yourself) as clean as possible. Working in a dirty place full of papers can affect people’s performance and give you a very bad image.
- Don’t laugh like crazy in front of the monitor. This, in addition to being annoying, is proof that you are not working on something important, but that you are chatting with a friend or watching humorous sites, such as videos on YouTube.
- Even if you have a terrible memory, try to remember the name and charge of all persons present in the office. There is nothing more awkward than being referred to as “hey you” or “hey you”.
- Avoid fits of anger or crying. We are all human, but as a leader or employee you cannot openly show your emotions, as this creates mistrust among the team. If you feel like you can’t control yourself, withdraw and find another space.
- Don’t scold someone in front of others. In addition to being humiliating for the person receiving the call to action, it’s uncomfortable (or worse, funny) for those who hear it.
- Be careful with your clothing. Although clothes say a lot about our personality, you should avoid wearing certain clothes. Remember: you are not at the beach, in the park or at a party with your friends.
- Don’t gossip about your colleagues, employees, or bosses. Nothing affects a work environment more than this type of harmful attitude. If there are any issues to clarify, do it soon before rumors spread throughout the office.
- Be punctual. If the start time is 8, you should be in the office at that time, especially if you are the leader. Being late can be considered disrespectful and affect the processes and work of everyone else.
- Borrow things. No matter how much trust you have with a person, it’s not okay to take their stuff while they’re out of the office. And obviously much more incorrect is not to return them.
- Be careful with nicknames. While nicknames can be a fun aspect that boosts camaraderie, it can also lead to negative feelings in people. Avoid using offensive nicknames.
- If you are sick, avoid contact. If you or someone on your team contract a contagious disease, they should not come to the office to prevent it from spreading. In case you do, do not greet with a kiss or handshake.
- Do not interrupt your colleagues or invade spaces. If you have a defined cubicle, make sure that all your decorations or accessories are in it and (obviously) never take off your shoes.
March Violante Martha Elena Violante (March Violante) is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emprendedor.com and has a 10+ year career in digital journalism. She has interviewed figures such as Randi Zuckerberg, Daniele Lamarre, Zoe Saldana, among others. She has worked in media such as Entrepreneur in Spanish and English, Alto Nivel, Cine PREMIERE, México Desconocido, among others. “We are entrepreneur.com”