"Fine manners need the support of
in others." ---
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whether you work for a
small non-profit organization, a giant multi-national
corporation, or something in-between, chances are you spend
many hours a day in close proximity to other people. Too
often, simple misunderstandings among co-workers lead to
workplace tension. On the comics page, Dilbert's cubicle
suffering provides us with a shared laugh. Unfortunately, in
the real world these stresses decrease both business
productivity and employee job satisfaction. In my classes and
lectures people often ask me about workplace etiquette as a
solution to employee stress. In the spirit of February being
the month of love, I offer you-boss, manager, and staff
member-these simple sensory reminders of how to get along in
Monitor the volume of your
conversations. Be sensitive to how loudly you
may be speaking. Do you notice that people down the
hall comment on your conversations? That might
indicate your voice is too loud. Consider closing your
office door and lowering your voice whenever speaking
in person or on the telephone.
- Keep personal telephone
conversations-and emails-brief and at a minimum.
Be ever mindful that others are nearby and
that this is a place of business. Do not use the
company telephone, fax, or email, for any
inappropriate and personal matters.
- In some workplaces, privacy is
difficult to find. If you overhear a private
conversation, practice selective hearing. Avoid the
urge to be "helpful" in areas best left to the other
person to handle on their own. Your best bet for being
treated as a professional at work is to keep all
workplace conversations professional.
- Sharing professional information is
wonderful, gossiping is not. Only discuss
personnel matters directly with specific individuals,
superiors, and management. NOTE: For an informational
sheet on "Gossip" please write us at Info@AdvancedEtiquette.com
and we will send it to you.
- Be sensitive to scents and smells
surrounding you. Save cologne and perfume for
social occasions, and ask if fresh flowers and
potpourri bother co-workers before installing them in
- When eating at your desk or in shared
areas, avoid foods with strong smells and aromas that
will travel throughout the office. As great
as French fries, Chinese food, and Indian food are,
smelling them together in the same room and office can
become unpleasant. Dispose of empty food containers
and other items where they won't contribute negatively
to the office atmosphere.
- Keep your personal workspace clean and
neat at all times. Generally, less is better
when it comes to office and cubicle decor. Use
discretion when displaying personal items such as
family photos and mementos so as not to overdo,
clutter, and obstruct your work area.
- Use shared areas with respect and
courtesy. Workplace kitchens can be the
biggest source of co-worker tension. If you expect
everyone you work with to cleanup after themselves,
model that behavior yourself. Wash and return
all kitchen items to their proper place, clean spills,
and wipe countertops and tables as needed. Help
maintain supplies as needed. When leaving food items
in a shared refrigerator, mark all items with your
name and date. Remove all items at the end of your
work week and toss or recycle empty containers.
- Restrooms run a close second to
kitchens as annoyance spots. After use, wipe
the countertop and sink of any spilled water or soap.
Be sure the toilet is clean for the next user. Notify
the proper attendant if supplies are low or out, and
of any plumbing problems.
- Maintain all shared items in "like new"
condition and return borrowed supplies. Leave
the photocopier in working condition and be sure to
take back that borrowed stapler with at least a few
staples left inside. If a machine stalls or jams, take
time to undo the jam or to alert the proper person to
attend to it. We all expect and want to be able to use
items and equipment when needed.
have any questions, email us at Info@AdvancedEtiquette.com.
We'd enjoy hearing from you.
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