(A brief guide to business etiquette)
A friend recently shared an experience she had with a cubby mate at her office. This spurred me to post about ‘cubby kindness’ (AKA business etiquette) this month.
We have all been there at one time or another. As kind and understanding as we know we should be, deep inside, way deep inside, we just want to go on a rant the size of Texas with this person!
What are the rules at your office? Is there a process for dealing with situations that some may find offensive?
I know that in the office environment it is important to ‘play nice’. After all, we are adults, aren’t we?
So, I thought perhaps a handy guide to some basic office etiquette may help!
- Above all, remain professional. This means keeping personal calls and knickknacks to a minimum. Not everyone may think your two year old is a budding artist. Nor are they interested in hearing him/her babble to you on speakerphone.
- Hands off. No door doesn’t mean a free for all for paper clips, snacks or a stapler.
- NO personal grooming. NONE. This means makeup, hair brushing, nail trimming and anything else that should be done in private.
- Are you ill? This is a tough one. If you are managing to keep the illness under wraps; fine. But, if that cough sounds like a seal on steroids then perhaps it’s time to take a sick day.
- Fragrances and other odours. Remember, cubbies don’t have walls. Smells, pleasant or otherwise, will escape. That garlic shrimp you had for dinner last night? Yummy, right? Well, perhaps not so yummy as leftovers at your desk. And while we are at it; when it comes to fragrance, sometimes less is more. What may smell like a moonlit walk in paradise to you is likely sending someone running for migraine meds!
- Confidential meetings/papers. Likely NOT a great idea to discuss an upcoming termination in your cubby! Nor is it a good idea to leave payroll information on your desk when you nip out for a quick bite!
- Popping in. No door does not mean instant access. If the person is on the phone, reading/concentrating, keyboarding at warp speed and NOT making eye contact then it’s likely best to assume that you are not welcome right now.
- Don’t be a busybody. Eavesdropping is never appropriate even if you think you have something valuable to add. If someone wants your opinion, believe me, they will ask for it.
- Startling is not as funny as you think it is. Approach in the field of vision, knock or say KNOCK, KNOCK. But having someone jump out of their skin; not acceptable.
Oh, the list could go on and on. I highlighted some of the important issues of sharing our space with others in peace and harmony. I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to plain old common sense and respect. How hard is that?