Office etiquette is no different than any other form of etiquette and is deeply rooted simply in being considerate to others. However, and it’s easy to understand this, keeping up consideration when you find yourself relaxed can be a challenge in mental constitution and that’s not really a fault. Often becoming comfortable is synonymous with letting your guard down and that is related to relaxing your mind. Good office etiquette is something we should all strive for but that doesn’t mean we need to constantly be stressed; we have a few ways to show mutual respect to your colleagues without heightening your level of stress to do so.
Keep It Low
The office environment can be a noisy one, but that doesn’t mean we need to add to that our voices and personal choice of music; also you should gauge how well you know a colleague before offering up personal information. Between keeping your music at a level only you can hear and your personal life only a shallow as business will allow in office etiquette, you are being considerate that there are other people around who may not need to be receptive to either your noise or the intimate details of your existence.
Taking That Call
Some rules address office etiquette more strictly because it can elevate a problem into one that threatens the productivity output of the entire workforce; one such topic involves cellular phones. It’s not a major issue from time to time to take a personal call and most of us use our cellulars for both business and personal calls anyway. However if you find yourself on the phone for 15% of the day taking personal calls, then you’re finding yourself in tricky waters with protocol and office etiquette. If you have to take these calls, also keep in mind your surroundings and the level of your voice because a phone call is between two people and is not a spectator sport.
The Watercooler Problem
Gossip is part and parcel of the inevitable office politics that take place at every workplace in the world, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to try and play it smart. Gossip is always a bad idea when it comes to policy andgood office etiquette, but there are some ways you can handle it when it comes your way; one would be to never contribute or feed the gossiper, most gossipers are happy just to be heard so leaving it at that will get you out of the line of fire. However this only works if you don’t actively seek our gossip. These few guidelines to office etiquette are merely to make you aware that you shouldn’t take your co-workers for granted; we all have needs and issues but being relaxed in your office environment shouldn’t mean losing all sense of others. Office etiquette essentially boils down to realising that we should treat others with mutual respect and act towards them only as we would see fit to be treated.
Eugene Calvini is a writer and office consultant with experience at office space in Singapore, Australia and abroad; he enjoys sharing advice with the internet.