If you work in an office, you may have become immune to the unique culture that may only be found within its walls. If, on the other hand, you’re new to the phenomenon, you may find it somewhat of a culture shock.
Take note of the below to better familiarise yourself with all the daily trials and tribulations of any office culture. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it in no time.
Lack of Personal Space
Be prepared to wave goodbye to most of your personal space if you’re about to start working in an open-plan office. To compromise on space, many companies, unfortunately, try to cram as many desks as possible into one open space, much to the detriment of their employees.
If you find open-plan offices way too distracting, why not try leaving a polite note in your office’s suggestion box about how to incorporate some partitions or a better layout that gives each employee at least some small degree of privacy.
Despite everyone being practically within arm’s length in your open-plan office, they still feel the need to speak to you over Skype or its equivalent rather than in person. Don’t take it personally, they’re not being rude or anti-social. It’s just a way to communicate within the office so as to cause minimal disruptions to the rest of your co-workers.
With so many people working in an enclosed space, it’s all too easy to pick their germs if they come to work when sick…which some of them will do. In order to protect yourself from a 2-week bout of influenza, keep some hand sanitiser handy at your desk and wash your hands often.
Free Food is the Best
Whenever the company decides to treat you to some free grub to celebrate everyone’s good work, this can instantly transform your mundane Monday blues. The perks may only be a few slices of pizza, but it tastes so much better knowing it’s on the company.
Be Nice to Co-workers
As you start to encounter the same people on a daily basis, needless to say, you’ll soon grow accustomed to their whims and moods. Offices are the places where many lasting working relationships are built and friendships forged.
Don’t underestimate the power of a small act of kindness towards your colleague – it could prove as effective as the free pizza slices mentioned above. Share your chocolates with them or offer to make them a cup of tea – trust us, it will go a long way.
The 3 pm Slump
No, unfortunately, for most of us, this isn’t a myth. After lunchtime, it’s natural to get drowsy or fidgety or to just contemplate the futility of your 8-hour day. While preventing this completely would be impossible, there are some tried and tested ways to fight it. Try to get a full 7 to 9 hours sleep every night and eat a light lunch that won’t leave you overfull and sleepy. Avoid too much caffeine as this can actually be counterproductive to the rest of your day.
Never Agreeing on the A/C setting
Whether it’s too hot or too cold, no one will ever be completely satisfied with the office’s temperature. In order to avoid being part of a heated argument, keep a shawl or sweater at your desk to avoid shivering through the day and invest in a small desk fan to keep you cool.
“What are you up to this weekend?”
Be prepared to answer this essential question every Friday afternoon – possibly more than once. If you find your social life could use some sprucing up, why not organise some social activities with some of the co-workers you find you get along well with? It doesn’t have to become a regular thing, but if it does, no harm is done.
Each company has its own unique set of principles and practices will vary across industries and brands. However, it’s good to keep sight of the basics until you’re fully immersed in your office life routine.