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Dos and Don'ts of Office Etiquette

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Office Etiquette Working Relationships

Like most areas of life, there are unwritten rule of the office that people are expected to follow. There may not be any official documents laying them out, but if they are broken then working relationships can dissolve too.

To stay professional, make a good impression with your colleagues and have a happy working environment you need to be aware of these rules and be sure not to overstep the line. Here are the top Dos and Don’ts of office etiquette so you can keep yourself in check.

DO Take Your Turn

Whether it is making the tea, buying a pack of biscuits for an afternoon snack, or volunteering to show the new person around, make sure you take your turn. These may only be small tasks but they show that you are a team player and don’t think that you are above anyone in the office.

DON’T Talk About Money

Talking about how much you earn is a long standing taboo that can breed resentment in the office. Firstly, people will feel jealous and annoyed if they realise someone is earning more than them and secondly, if you reveal your own salary and can be construed as bragging or showing off.

DO Dress Appropriately

First impressions count for a lot and what you wear has a big impact on how people react to you. Dressing too informally, provocatively or creatively will mean that people judge you for your outward appearance and not what you are capable of.

DON’T Be Late

Of course there are times when you can’t help being late but don’t make it a regular occurrence. Nobody wants to be in work at 9am and showing up late just makes your colleagues mad and suggests that you don’t take your job seriously.

DO Help Out

Just as you would, your colleagues will appreciate some help when they need it. Whether it is offering to help them finish a project, covering for them if they need to leave early or buying them lunch when they forget their money, it helps to build strong working relationships.

DON’T Gossip

Ok, everyone gossips a little bit and it can be a fun, bonding experience. However, spreading rumours about someone or making up lies is not going to make you any friends in the office. Try to avoid the gossips and if you hear something bad then confront the person face to face.

If you think about it, you already know the unwritten rules of office etiquette, you just have to remember to follow them. Making sure that you comply with these few Dos and Don’ts will help you build your working relationships and make a good impression in the office.

Having a good relationship with your colleagues, and not doing anything to offend them will help you in your job both professionally and personally. Your colleagues want to know that you are a good person, who will do them a favour, not gossip about them and don’t think you are above anyone.

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