I have worked in an office environment in some facet or another since I was 19. Given that 15 years of experience, I feel I can speak a bit on appropriate behavior in the workplace. Some of these may only be my opinion, but others seem as though they should be common sense.
- Say “Good Morning” to your coworkers. The silent treatment is conducive to no team function.
- Don’t smack your gum. I’m SURE I’ve been guilty of this in the past but just don’t do it. Since I don’t chew gum anymore, this is no problem for me.
- Men: tuck your shirt in. Polo or not, it’s not ok to leave your shirt untucked. (Sidenote: especially in a meeting with customer/employees/vendors.)
- Be on time. For work and for appointments. Do I really have to explain this? My rule of thumb is generally this: If you make me late, I’ll make you late. You requested an appointment with me at 9:00 am? Be here a few minutes before. If you are late, I will be too. Respect my time and I’ll respect yours.
- Leave your work outside the bathroom. If you want to take the newspaper with you to the bathroom at home, you do so, but at work, it’s just gross. Also, wash your hands – with soap.
- Sitting in a public place such as a front desk area or set of cubicles? Keep off the personal calls. Take a break in the breakroom or outside to makes those calls. Telling your mother about your bad rash in front of your coworkers is not cool.
These are my thoughts specific to meeting environments…
- Keep your feet on the floor. Not up on the table or other chairs around you.
- Keep your shoes on. This is a huge deal for me. You’re in your own office and want to take your shoes off? Fine. But if you have guests in your office or you’re in a meeting, keep your shoes on. Besides, touching the bottom of your dirty shoes because you were playing with them, then shaking their hand, is just downright gross.
- Are you hosting the meeting? Offer your guests something to drink – even if it’s just water.
- Be respectful. If someone has an idea to offer, let them. Don’t be that person who talks over everyone else.
What have I missed? Are there other workplace etiquette items that are missing from this list? If so, feel free to leave a comment.