Tuesday, 21 May 2013 23:33 | By Png Han Yong

Proper Workplace Etiquette

Proper Workplace Etiquette

Most working individuals spend the majority of their waking hours in the workplace, and it's important to observe proper etiquette with the people you probably interact more with than your loved ones.

The Finer Points of Conversation
No employee is an island - at some point, you will have to interact with other people at work, whether they are your co-workers, bosses or clients. As a general rule, unless you can absolutely trust the person you're interacting with, keep your personal life private and stay away from gossiping about others.

And when it comes to work, treat everybody with respect and listen attentively to the ideas and opinions of others, no matter how vociferously you disagree. Never let your emotions get the better of you - calm heads and constructive conversations are better at reducing stress and increasing productivity in any work environment.

Personal Space Protocol
Respect the personal space and privacy of your co-workers. No matter how friendly your co-workers may appear, you should never barge in on their workstations as and when you please.

A simple "Excuse me" or "Is it convenient to talk now?" is not only a great conversation starter (especially with your office crush!), but a good way to show that you respect their personal space.

And if you wish to borrow something, always ask for your colleague's permission first, lest you be quickly labelled as the 'office bandit'.

Custom of the Common Area
The cleanliness and maintenance of common areas in the office, such as the pantry or restroom, are often taken for granted.

So if you expect your co-workers to clean up after themselves, you have to start the ball rolling by exhibiting desirable behaviour. Cleaning up after yourself will help ensure others do so as well - people are less likely to despoil a clean area.

In addition, label any personal food items in the office refrigerator, and consume or throw away your food at the end of each work week to avoid clogging and stinking up the refrigerator. Never, ever take food in the refrigerator that doesn't belong to you, as fridge-raiding is considered to be extremely intolerable, if not borderline sociopathic, workplace behaviour.

Good and Proper Image
This is a no-brainer, but many working adults fail to comprehend the sheer negative impact that their poor dressing sense has on their colleagues, not to mention how it reflects poorly on their professional image.

Even for less formal occasions like office functions and Casual Fridays, workplace apparel should always be appropriate and tasteful. This means: 1) no flip-flops or Crocs, 2) Bermuda shorts, 3) singlets, 4) excessively revealing clothing.

Also, observing proper hygiene and a light application of perfume or cologne (don't overdo!) can work wonders in making you a more pleasant person to be around.

All in all, the practise of proper workplace etiquette can not only make the working environment a more pleasant place for all, but also good, subtle proof of your credentials as a mature professional.

Are there more rules of office etiquette that you adopt in the workplace? Share with us in the comment box below!

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