Don’t Let these Common Practices Destroy your Career
Office etiquette is often considered an unwritten code between co-workers of acceptable and appropriate behaviour and what should be better left to the confines of your own home. It’s all about respecting those you work with by reigning in certain bad habits which may earn you many an ugly look and affect your reputation in the office.
Without even meaning to, there are some things you’re prone to doing at the office that may be driving your co-workers (and possibly your superiors) up the wall. This leads to feelings of resentment and bad working relationships which may affect your professional opportunities or even cost you your job.
Take note of some of the more common pet peeves reported by office workers about their colleagues’ behaviour. If you’re guilty of any of these annoying habits, try to be more mindful of the fact that you’re sharing an office with other people and be more considerate about how your behaviour may affect them.
Being Too Loud
If you share a small workspace with others, this bad habit may be particularly annoying to those around you. Maybe you tend to talk too loudly when taking a call, or put your call on speakerphone for the whole office to witness your conversation. You could also be guilty of blaring music from your laptop without using headphones, or worse still, singing or whistling along to the tune.
If you have a naturally loud voice, try to make it a point to speak in quieter tones while in the office. Your colleagues will definitely appreciate it.
Being too Chatty ´
Some people think themselves natural social butterflies and can’t get through their day without stopping to catch up with a few colleagues here and there. If you happen to be one such person, just keep in mind that some of your co-workers may not be as inclined to endure a long-winded recounting of your weekend escapades. Keep office chit-chat to a minimum and what’s more, unless colleagues also happen to be close personal friends, oversharing inappropriate details is probably not a good idea.
Spreading Strong Odours
Not everyone in your department may appreciate the wafting scent of your spicy chicken curry or that new Eau de Parfum you insist on spraying in generous amounts. Some people are especially sensitive to strong smells so make sure to be considerate and stop spreading them if you find they upset any of your co-workers. What’s more it goes without saying that it’s unlikely anyone enjoys the constant smell of b.o…. so, keep your personal hygiene in check too.
Don’t you just hate it when someone keeps asks you for the same thing over and over again? You can bet that others find this irritating too. Instead of asking Tim from IT how to transfer files to your hard drive for the umpteenth time, ask him to show you how it’s done instead so the next time the same problem crops up, you can easily sort it out on your own. Moreover, don’t zone out in meetings and then expect your co-workers to recount what you missed. Try to grasp things the first time around and only ask for clarification if you really did miss something despite your best efforts.
Making a Mess
This one should go without saying but it’s alarming how often employees overlook the fact that they’re not the only ones making use of a common office area. If you’re a messy person, remember that other may not find this aspect of your personality as endearing when it comes to shared spaces. Clean up the kitchen counter after you’ve fixed your lunch, wash your plate and mug, keep the bathroom clean and avoid leaving papers or documents strewn around common areas.
Other common annoying traits include being constantly late, changing the thermostat without consulting others and helping yourself to other people’s food. Most bad habits simply come down to being inconsiderate of those around us; seeing as our colleagues are the people with whom we’re required to spend the better part of our day, it pays to be on good terms with them even if this means changing some deeply-ingrained patterns of behaviour.