Do You Get These Office Etiquette Rules Wrong?

Published: September 7, 2013
By: Faye Hollands

It goes without saying that manners are important, but unfortunately they seem to play second fiddle a little too often, leaving many of us feeling frustrated and irritated by our colleagues behaviour.   It doesn’t matter how busy you are, there’s never an excuse for bad office etiquette, so take a moment now to make sure you’re not falling foul of the fundamentals of good office behaviour…

Time To Brush Up

Here are 5 areas where many muck up when it comes to office etiquette – and how you can make sure you don’t cross the line:-

1. Open Plan Offices

Most offices are open plan these days, which isn’t always a good thing as often it tends to act as a green flag,  giving colleagues the go-ahead to interrupt and distract whenever they want!

Don’t be that annoying person who doesn’t respect other people’s space and time.  Send a meeting request or email if you want to go over something with a colleague instead of just barging in, or at least ask if they have a moment before you launch into whatever you want to say.

2.  Rudeness

I’m still amazed at how rude people can be!  If you’re asking for something make sure you say please, and if someone does something for you have the common decency to thank them.  You might do a great job and be at the top of your game, but trust me, people will remember you for your rudeness first and foremost.

3.  Bad Time Management

I used to work for a company where everyone knew that every meeting would start late.  I hated it!  I also used to have a colleague who was ALWAYS late for external meetings.  I hated that too!  Being late is never a good look, and it shows a real lack of respect for other people’s time.  Sure, things happen that are unavoidable every now and again, but if you’re someone that’s always running late you need to change your attitude to timeliness if you want to get ahead.  Get prepared, set out early and make it your goal to arrive 5 minutes before each meeting – it’s not difficult and it will make a big difference to how you’re perceived at work.

4.  Interruptions

Don’t you just hate it when someone constantly interrupts what you’re saying, finishes your sentences for you or generally just talks over the top of you?  Of course,  we all do.  So don’t let that be you – make sure you practice good listening skills, and no matter how boring, ALWAYS let the other person finish talking first before you begin.  When you show good listening skills and respect, your communication will improve dramatically which will help build more effective relationships at work.

5.  Poor Attire

Times have changed, and many workplaces now are more casual when it comes to their dress code.  But that doesn’t signal the go-ahead for sloppy or inappropriate fashion.   Whether you like it or not, how you look plays a big part in the perception people have of you, and the trust they’re willing to put in you – two key areas that are critical to career success.   So don’t be that person that leaves nothing to the imagination or looks as though they’ve just rolled out of bed.  Be respectful of your environment and how others around you dress – and if in doubt, match the style of your boss.

What’s your pet hate when it comes to bad office etiquette? Post a comment below and let me know…

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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