I actually made a big etiquette faux pas at my new employer just this week. I was well-groomed, well-dressed and I was polite, pleasant and smiling as I greeted my new co-workers. But as I sat down after making myself a cup of tea, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone in the office was looking at me like I’d just murdered their cat. I’d committed a cardinal office sin: never, ever make a drink just for yourself.
So how do you know what the politics of your office are? Well, like the many different cultures and societies of other countries and continents, it varies from office to office. In England you could be hung, drawn and quartered for not making a round of tea for your colleagues. In Russia however, they’d be more upset if you forgot to slip a drop of vodka into their brew. For this very reason, we’ve created The Ultimate Office Etiquette Guide so that you never again make the mistake of taking a stapler without first asking for permission!
General Office Etiquette
While different offices have different policies, there are a few universal truths about etiquette that you need to be aware of at all times.
Ask before you borrow anything. There’s nothing worse than being branded the office thief because your stash of ‘borrowed’ rulers is discovered by the cleaning lady.
Wash your mugs after you’ve used them. If you expect the cleaners to wash up for you, you’re going to be in for a big surprise. You might find your mug covered in mold and thick, congealed milk floating around the bottom. Clean it yourself.
Any release of bodily gases is highly frowned upon. Farting may have been okay back in High School, but you won’t be taken seriously if you perform a rendition of Flight Of The Bumble Bee through your ass.
Don’t fall asleep at your desk. And if you do, make sure you’re at a desk that faces away from everyone else and you don’t snore.
Open doors for your colleagues. You won’t do yourself any favors by letting the door close on the geeky guy from I.T while he’s carrying a computer tower and monitor into the office.
It’s important to always be respectful of your colleagues and avoid burning your bridges with them. You never know when you may rely on their help to get you out of a tricky jam. Here are a few things you should be aware of:
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