What are the right behaviours to keep in a work environment? What is it … how is it and above all is there an office etiquette?
As it is the place where we spend most of the day, it is important, at least, to find a way to live it with the right behaviour and attitude.
At a general level, the rules of etiquette in the office are those that we should be applied in everyday life; the only difference being that, at work, there is, almost always … the professional pressure caused by the need to achieve goals and results.
In an open-space, things get complicated; an embarrassing presence is enough to make the environment much more difficult and less profitable for the application of ethical and chic regulations.
Empathy must be created for everyone, which is the basic condition for being able to apply it to oneself and to one’s colleagues.
In order to work in harmony, it is sufficient to follow some rules of good cohabitation:
- Never forget good morning and, more generally, greetings to the people who you meet, from the workers to the management.
- Dress appropriately, especially if you work in direct contact with the public. Elegance is an essential data. Avoid extravagance and jewels that are too showy and exaggerated.
- Make the most of your personal hygiene, do not sprinkle with suffocating perfume, and if you are a gum-chewer, remember to chew in moderation.
- Do not blow your nose loudly and do not leave the tissues on your desk.
- Be proactive and don’t give the impression you’re wasting time.
- Don’t play with your smartphone, even during downtime. The phone also must always be on silent mode.
- Punctuality is imperative, if for some reason you are late, ask a colleague to apologize for you.
- Always keep your concentration level high, distraction never pays off.
- Adopt polite behaviour with colleagues, without forcefully imposing tasks. Use the utmost courtesy in giving assignments.
- Smile in the workplace is always very important. But one must not exaggerate, it is at the expense of seriousness.
- It has been established that order increases productivity, the Japanese teach it to us. Do not leave paper sheets lying on your desk, but try to tidy up your material.
- Telling your weekend or holiday increases conviviality. However, one must not go into too much detail and be too verbose.
- If you have to make reproach to a colleague, take the time you need without being too impulsive. Keep calm, do not raise your voice and above all, never criticize the work of a colleague in front of others.
- Before leaving the office, try to tidy up the office in the best way so as to simplify the work for the cleaning ladies.
- Coffee-breaks and lunches are moments of conviviality. Try to share them with your colleagues by discussing topics outside of work, especially within the time allowed (about 10 minutes for a coffee break and an hour for a lunch break).
- If you are going through a difficult period, it is advisable to inform your superiors, but it must not be a pretext for claiming a special treatment or obtain a privilege.
- Use a not too loud tone of voice and be discreet, respect the professional and personal life of colleagues
- Avoid topics that have to do with religion and politics.
- Do not intervene in discussions that do not concern you, even if sometimes, curiosity is great!
- Set appointments to talk about important topics.
In light of what I have written, remember that the colleague is not the person who to cry with or who to share your problems and frustrations. Everyone’s private life is beautiful because, if spaces for personal sharing are created, these should be treated and managed with discretion and measure. Even if there are no official rules, it is always better to respect a behaviour based on ethics … everything to ensure good coexistence.