Sept 3rd is Bring Your Manners To Work Day, but really shouldn’t every day be a day where you bring your manners to work?
That’s a rhetorical question, because the answer is “yes.” Unless there’s a National Be A Jerk-Face At Work Day too, working with other people involves some pretty basic etiquette so your coworkers won’t want to murder you. That being said, some of us haven’t been around other people for a while so perhaps a quick refresher is in order. Follow these tips for a murder-free workplace!
Read the room.
By which I mean that each office culture is different, so what’s considered “good manners” vary from place to place. In the tech sector, for example, it’s not considered odd to have your headphones on while you’re slamming out code at your desk, whereas that might be super rude at a law office. Know the culture of your workplace, first and foremost.
Pick up after yourself.
Seriously. What, were you born in a barn? I’m guessing not. If your office has a shared kitchen, clean your dish when you’re done. If the coffee filter is full, replace it. Keeping a clean and tidy office is everyone’s responsibility. And speaking of kitchens, under no circumstances is it ever a good idea to microwave fish. It’s not illegal, but it should be.
Stay at home when you’re sick.
Even before we all got way too familiar with how viruses are transmissible, this should have been written in stone. If you work in a modern office with no openable windows, your co-workers are sitting ducks for your cold du jour. Don’t spread your cold (or worse!) to others. Stay at home and get your plants sick instead.
Don’t bring your phone into meetings.
Unless you absolutely need your phone with you, which I’m guessing you don’t, leave it at your desk, or keep it in your pocket. The temptation to do a quick Twitter scroll instead of paying attention is too great. Twitter will still be there after the meeting’s over.
Really all of these workplace etiquette tips and rules boil down to two simple words: Be polite. Is it polite to cut your toenails at your desk? Hell no. Is it polite to gossip about co-workers? Tempting, but also no. Is it polite to interrupt people, or distract them, or to keep people waiting? No, no, and no. Just be, you know, polite. It’s shockingly easy to do.