At work – especially at a cubicle workplace, you share the space with a bunch of other people. That means that you can’t act like you’re at home because there are certain rules and common office etiquette standards that you need to adhere, for the sake of everyone at the workplace. So without delay, we present to you 14 bad office etiquette that you might be guilty of:
1. Talking too loud
You might annoy and infuriate those around you when you shout and yell, while you might be equally guilty if you talk too loudly on the phone too because it affects your colleagues’ train of thoughts. Be considerate about others at work because you might distract them from completing their task.
2. Interrupting someone
Interrupting someone is rude because it shows that you lack respect to the speaker. It also indicates that you have no interest and don’t give a flying fart about what they’re trying to convey. Let the speaker finish what they have to say, then you can bring up your own points. There’s really no need to rush.
3. Not flushing the toilet
You’re sharing the toilet with many others, it’s only ethical that you flush the toilet after using it. It’s not that much of a hassle and you get to spare the others from the horror that follows.
4. Never returning borrowed stuff/ Taking stuff without permission
It’s impolite to borrow stuff from others and then not returning it because 1) They may need to use it later on and 2) They don’t belong to you!
Also don’t just take your colleagues belongings without asking permission, and that includes their meals in the pantry or in the refrigerator.
5. Eating strong scented food
Food with strong pungent smell such as durian or food that have strong pungent/unpleasant smell (i.e: stinky tofu or onion/garlic smell) can be offensive to some and may hinder their ability to concentrate. If possible, avoid eating them at the workplace.
6. Body odour
On the topic of smell, don’t fill the air at your workplace with the scent of your body fluids. Change and wash your clothes regularly or wear a suitable deodorant.
7. Being late for internal appointments/meetings
You should always arrive on time for your appointments and meetings, whether if it’s at work or outside of work. It’s also impolite to keep others waiting for you because you might build an unwanted reputation as someone who’s never on time for appointments.
8. Attending to your phone during meetings
During a meeting, it’s utmost importance that you give your full attention and not attend to your phone because you want respect the person who’s talking.
Also, either turn off your phone or put it to silent mode so that it doesn’t interfere people during a discussion or presentation. It’s not something you want to do especially if all the big bosses are around.
9. Littering in the office
It’s certainly not ethical to throw those unwanted notes, tissues and food waste around the office as it might attract roaches and rats not the mention it makes the office look awful. On top of that, you look like a total slob.
10. Not washing your own dishes
No matter how busy you are, cleaning up after using the dishes shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes. Even if your office employs a cleaner, cleaning up after you’re done should be your responsibility. A person who does their own dishes is seen as a responsible person who does not leave their own mess for someone else to clean.
11. Hogging the items at the pantry
Technically speaking, the items in the pantry are indeed for your usage, but that doesn’t mean that you should go overboard by being too greedy and inconsiderate by selfishly hogging items without the consideration of others.
12. Invading private spaces
Some people can be really particular about the violation of their privacy. Even though there might not be any physical barriers such as fences or walls separating each and everyone’s space, it’s the unspoken rule that you shouldn’t go around people’s places touching their personal things and behaving like they’re yours. Respect their privacy and they’ll respect yours.
13. Not knocking/interrupting a meeting
We were all taught to knock before we enter when we were kids, so don’t just barge into a room especially when there’s a meeting going on. It’s always polite to knock the door before you enter and just to be on the safe side, knock beforehand even if you know that no one’s using the room.
14. Not silencing your phone while at work
It would be advisable to silent your phone or put it to vibration mode because it might interfere others in the office. On top of that, the message notification sound from online instant messaging apps can be annoying as you might receive a handful of notifications a day.
Nobody’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean that you should bring your bad etiquette to the workplace. Of course, there are a host of other bad office etiquette that are not in this list, but it’s common courtesy to think before you act because you need to sympathize with others.
If everyone could cooperate together to make the office a cleaner and friendlier environment, then everyone could come to work focused without worrying about additional stress at work.