Office Etiquette is an important part of working and will ensure that everyone is in a comfortable and professional environment. Know what is and what is not acceptable within the work space.

  • Limit personal mobile phone usage, either messages or calls. Your phone should be on silent at all times unless you are expecting an important call. If this is the case it might be a good idea to notify your supervisor at the beginning of the day in case you need to leave abruptly. Avoid social networking websites whilst at work too unless it is relevant to your job.
  • Dress appropriately.  Most offices with have a specific, predefined dress code that must be strictly followed. Make sure you fully understand what is and what is not acceptable. If your office has a more laidback dress code, know what is appropriate, particularly in terms of your line of work. Wearing heels if you will be constantly on your feet all day is not the best option.
  • Keep good time management. Punctuality is important with any job and prioritising tasks to help you complete them correctly and move through your work load is a basic requirement. Particularly if you are just starting out, being late makes a very bad impression to your employer, so always be prepared and on time.
  • Be polite and professional. Manners are particularly important in the work place and there are no excuses for being rude or dropping your please and thank-yous. Maintaining a friendly demeanour will help brighten the mood within the office. People will always have a lot more respect for you if you say hello to them in the morning rather than ignoring them. Knowing when to switch your tone from friendly to professional is essential too. Don’t be overly casual around your co-workers, especially those higher up.
  • Maintain a tidy space so that you are not spilling over onto someone else’s desk or the like. Messiness needs to be left at home when you are in a work environment and sharing a space with many other people. Get rid of any litter straight away to prevent causing clutter.
  • Respect what is not yours. If you need to borrow something from a co-worker it is common sense to always ask first and then return it as soon as you have finished with it. Likewise, respecting communal areas by cleaning up after yourself makes for a generally more positive environment for you and your colleagues.
  • Don’t be too loud, either when talking on the phone or to another co-worker. No one else wants to hear your entire conversation. With everyone busy concentrating on their own things, you need to be aware of your social surroundings and avoid noise distraction. This is the same if you are eating or drinking at your desk, or if you have earphones in to listen to music. Conspicuity is a must.
  • Stay at home when you’re sick. Passing an illness around the office will not go down too well with your colleagues or employers, and could be damaging to the company if the sickness is widespread.  You are entitled to sick leave so use it if you need to! The last thing you want is to frustrate or aggravate your co-workers.
  • Be attentive to your co-workers and remember any important birthdays or anniversaries. You will form better relationships with the people around you if you show you care. This will make for a more comfortable working environment. Acknowledging any big events in your colleagues’ lives will make them more likely to do the same for you.
  • Avoid smelly foods or perfumes. Make sure you sit in the cafeteria or break room for lunch. If you are particularly stuck for time and need to eat at your desk be conscious of those around you. Also avoid taking off your shoes during office hours or spritzing an abnormally large amount of strong-smelling perfumes, colognes or air fresheners.