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Office Etiquette — Top 7 Rules to Follow

Office etiquette is critical to a pleasant and functioning office space. Etiquette is just treating others the way you want to be treated. It is respect and professionalism. Of course, good etiquette includes being courteous, avoiding pettiness, and following basic social, behavioral norms. While every office and workspace has its code of appropriate behavior, some general rules are always applicable.

1. Respect People’s Space

You must respect people’s space. Just because their desk is next to yours does not mean you have access to everything on the desk. Treat their workstation as a private office and ask before you borrow something. Respect their personal space and privacy, too. Don’t hover over their shoulders, reading emails or listening to their conversations.

2. Respect People’s Time

Respecting people’s time is essential to a positive working environment.

  • Be on time and complete your work on time.
  • Respond to emails and phone calls promptly — from co-workers, subordinates, and…
  • When running a meeting, make sure to begin and end on time.
  • Respect people’s downtime. Don’t bother team members off the clock with work unless it’s an emergency.

3. Keep Noise Down

If you listen to music at your desk, be mindful of the volume and type of music you play. What is soothing and helps you concentrate might be super obnoxious to a team member. If using earbuds, make sure they are plugged in and keep your phone and computer alerts muted.

4. Leave Personal Life Issues at Home

It is not simply good office etiquette, but maturity that leaves emotional problems from home, at home. Relationships at work are good, and occasionally you might be able to talk with a team member about a personal issue but be careful. Share privately, and don’t let it distract you from productivity.

If you are not breaking the rules to take a personal call, take it outside or into a conference room, and only if necessary.

5. Keep Things Neat and Tidy

Visual clutter is distracting, so keep your desk and personal space neat. It is even more important to do your part in keeping shared space clean. No one wants to deal with your mess or clean up after you in the break room and other communal areas — especially the kitchen!

It may be a little awkward to say, but good office etiquette includes practicing personal hygiene, too.

6. Be Sensitive to Smells

Let’s be honest. Some foods are just plain smelly. If you are guilty of bringing smelly lunches to work, at least be aware of it. Maybe eat it away from your desk or outside. It’s also important to be sensitive to people’s olfactory allergies — some perfumes and colognes are migraine triggers.

7. Stay Home When Sick

Even before COVID, no one wanted to share your germs –especially during cold and flu season, when those little stinkers travel like wildfire. Before you know it, the whole office can be down and out with a cold. So, if you aren’t feeling well, be considerate and stay home. You will work better when you feel better anyway.

At Hamilton Connections, we are all about relationships! That’s why we work hard to place the right people with the right people. Whether you are looking for work or looking to hire, we’ve got your back. Contact us today, and let’s get started!