While many office workers wouldn’t mind having their own private office, most of us spend our days in a communal workplace. As a result, being a good influence and getting along with your co-workers is important. After all, not only are you all working in the same enclosed space, but very few people can be productive if they feel their office situation is unwelcome or unpleasant for one reason or another.
Whether you want to make a good impression at a new job or just help keep the peace at your current workplace, here are a few common office etiquette mistakes to avoid.
For many office employees, one of the biggest frustrations of being surrounded by others is the noise level. Whether it is the beeping of machines, rustling of papers, or answering of phone calls, some amount of noise is unavoidable. However, this does not excuse creating more noise than necessary.
As much as possible, avoid chatting it up on the phone, listening to music without earbuds, shouting, yelling, and other loud behaviors.
Closely related to being noisy, distracting your fellow office workers doesn’t do anyone any favors. From tapping your foot to pacing up and down the hallway, there are a lot of things people do that can be bothersome.
Even seemingly harmless behaviors, like dropping by someone’s desk for a friendly chat, can be problematic if done at the wrong time. After all, if they are busy working or deep in thought, not only can co-workers resent you for disrupting their flow, but it also reduces your ability to get your own work done.
Borrowing Without Asking
A top contender on the office pet peeves list, borrowing your co-worker’s stuff without prior permission is just asking for trouble. From something small like a highlighter to using their nice ergonomic office chair, human beings are naturally protective over their belongings.
In addition, the last thing you want is to get into a disagreement over a damaged object or be thought of as an office supply thief. Thus, its better to be safe than sorry. Even if you’re sure Steven doesn’t mind you using his stapler occasionally, it’s still best to ask first.
For any collaborative environment, being constantly late to work or group meetings is a major blunder. Not only does tardiness show a lack of professionalism and consideration for the time of others, but causing a meeting to run late also tends to throw the rest of the workday off schedule. Especially in busy offices, punctuality is critical.
Of course, accidents and unavoidable holdups do happen. In normal circumstances however, avoid being late to your work obligations at all costs.
Creating a Negative Environment
Whether it involves gossiping, backbiting, or bullying, no one benefits from a hostile office atmosphere. Even if it may seem like the norm, try your best to avoid participating in or facilitating negative behaviors.
Each individual situation is unique; however, in general it is always better to foster good relationships at work.