Practising proper office etiquetteChen Wan Lim
More than a third of your day is spent at the office. It is often said that your office is like a second home. In some cases, people spend more time interacting with colleagues than they do with their own families. Therefore, it is pivotal that the office environment is kept in a peaceful state, free of conflicts and comfortable for everyone. Office etiquette is not something complex or something that everyone needs to go out of their way to abide by – most are mainly common sense. Here are some proper office etiquette you can practise.
Respect your colleagues’ personal space and also yours
In a normal office set up, everyone is given their own personal space such as a cubicle, an office or perhaps even just a desk (if the office uses an open concept layout). Do not intrude their personal space unless you are discussing something official with them. Also, in regards with your own personal space, be sure to keep your workstation neat and tidy and be careful not to over-decorate your cubicle. It could be distracting to your colleagues if your cubicle looks cluttered.
Be mindful of your scent
Be a little sensitive with the perfume and cologne that you put on. An office is an enclosed environment with internally circulating air-conditioning system. Do not overuse more perfume than is necessary. In addition, go easy on the potpourri or air freshener you use at your workspace. What smells nice to you might not smell nice for others.
Avoid strong smelling food
Again, because the office is a contained environment, avoid eating strong smelling food at your workstation. Eat in the pantry provided or at the lounge outside the office. Strong food smell can linger in the office even after days. Dispose food containers and packaging outside the office as you do not want to attract flies and ants.
Respect common areas
Common areas such as the meeting rooms, pantries and toilets must be treated with respect. Be sure to tidy up after you have used the pantry and to not leave it in a dirty state. If the department photocopy machine is out of toner or paper, inform the right people to have it stocked.
Keep your voice down
It’s sometimes easy to get carried away when we are in an intense discussion or on a lively phone call that we fail to keep the volume of our conversation in check. Speaking loudly in the walkway could be an annoyance to other colleagues who might be on the telephone or trying to focus hard on their work. If you need to have lengthy discussions with people, try booking a meeting room. Also, avoid taking personal phone calls in the office.
Poor manners and practise of office etiquette can negatively affect overall productivity. Always keep the workplace harmonious and remember to do unto others what you want others to do unto you.