12 Office Etiquette Rules You Must Follow

By Muhammad Zeeshan

2 November 2022

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There are both written and unwritten rules to working in a shared office space. Some rules may be obvious, while others may be less so, but adhering to them strictly can lead to stronger professional relationships with your team and more fulfilling work experiences. Office etiquette can help transform company culture and even mean the difference between business success and failure. That is why the owners do not support working from home.

 

Let's look at how you can improve your office etiquette to become a better coworker:

 

Don’t Eat At Your Desk


Smells can be amplified in a small space, so pack your lunch or snacks with caution. Instead of eating at your desk, try eating in the kitchen, break room, or outside.

 


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Limit Personal Calls In Work Areas


Talking about Saturday night with your best friend is not conducive to hard work. Take personal calls outside of the office.

 

Getting Annoyed At Other People’s Conversations


If you work in an open office space and professional phone calls distract you, remember that the person is probably not trying to bother you. Keep a good pair of headphones nearby and try to be understanding of the situation.

 

Don’t Be The Office Dj


"Double-check that your headphones are plugged-in before streaming your favorite Spotify station," in addition to making sure your headphones aren't leaking sound that might bother your coworkers.

 

Be Considerate Of People’s Allergies


Avoid strong fragrances and foods that your coworkers are allergic to. Nobody wants to be the one who has to admit someone to the hospital.

 


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Keep Your Desk Organized


Maintaining a tidy and orderly desk throughout the working day demonstrates your organizational skills and professional image.

 

Respect Your Co-Workers’ Availability


Just because others are sitting nearby does not mean they are always available for conversation. Each other's privacy should be respected. Act as if a barrier exists between you, and if they appear to be preoccupied, ask if they have a moment to speak.

 

Be Mindful Of Your CCs


Remove people from email threads who aren't necessary. It is inconvenient to have your inbox overrun by email chains that are useless and irrelevant to you. Remember to remove people who don't need that information if the email thread becomes more specific.

 

Keep Distractions Out Of Site During Meetings


During a meeting or business lunch ten years ago, there would have been no purses, wallets, or other personal items on the table. But now, none of us can survive without our cell phones within reach. Keep your cell phone hidden. Having it on the table indicates to those around you that you are not fully engaged.

 

Don’t Make People Wait For You


Arrive a few minutes early to begin your workday or to attend a business meeting. Make sure you're not distracted by phone calls, emails, texts, or side conversations, whether you're leading or attending the meeting. Don't monopolize the discussion unless you're giving a presentation, and don't let anyone else do so either.

 


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Don’t Go To Work If You’re Sick


Do your team a favor and avoid spreading your pneumonia germs to everyone. Take a day or two to concentrate on getting better. When you're too sick to read the numbers on your computer screen, you're useless to anyone. If you must work, do so remotely—grab your laptop and work from the convenience of your own home. When you return to work, don't forget to sanitize your desk.

 

Remember To Knock!


Consider how you feel when you're deep in work and a coworker walks into your office. Perhaps it's only to ask a simple question, but that brief interruption completely disrupts your train of thought and productivity. That is not something you should do to your coworkers. Even if this is the ideal time for you to discuss something, it does not necessarily apply to them. Send an email to find out when both of you have a few minutes to spare.