Office Protocol: The Unspoken Rules Of Workplace Etiquette

by Simona Terron

Workplace wellness is such an important but oft-neglected area of our lives. For most people, their professions occupy a sizeable chunk of their waking hours, and so it makes sense to have a guide that will help you navigate these tricky waters. We offer you simple tips to help you put your best foot forward, work in harmony with team mates and superiors, and most importantly, garner job satisfaction that can make your job a joy, instead of drudgery.

Manners Maketh Man
A lot rides on how you present yourself, because it gives others cues as to how you wish to be perceived and will affect how they interact with you.

  • A positive first impression can do wonders, but you need to maintain your behavior for long-term results.
  • Pay attention when people are speaking to you, use eye contact, expressions and gestures that are appropriate for the situation.
  • Choose attire that reflects the work environment, be well-groomed, and let your personality shine through in little accents. Neat and clean is better than fashionable or flashy, especially when your accessories speak volumes.
  • Be alert, courteous and punctual, always.

The Power Of People Skills
The way you treat people says more about you than them, so always be sensitive, give people the benefit of the doubt, and do unto others as you’d have them do to you.

  • Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, so think about how you appear when you grovel in front of your superiors, but mistreat maintenance and administrative staff. Assess the dynamics you share with different colleagues, and adjust them based on your personal equation with each one of them.
  • Think hard before allowing your personal and professional life to overlap. While you can relax and share basic details in the office such as talking about your child’s excellent performance at school, or your spouse’s promotion at work, be wary of sharing details of your romantic life or your weekend drinking binges. This information can be used out of context to undermine your work performance.
  • It goes without saying that workplace romances are tricky and highly avoidable, while flirting, gossiping and sexual innuendos should not be encouraged.
  • Taking personal calls, talking loudly on the phone, letting it ring at full volume, listening to music without earphones, and shouting across the office to attract someone’s attention, are all indicative of your desperate desire to attract attention.
  • Barging into someone’s office or workspace, eating at your desk, texting during meetings and interrupting others, all make for rude behavior that paints a very sorry picture of you.

Even if you follow these tips to the letter, there might be co-workers who flout them constantly and aggravate everyone, thus making the work environment toxic. In this case, take them aside and initiate a private chat, where you gently point out how their behavior is negatively impacting everyone. If they don’t accept this advice and refuse to change, it might be time to escalate the issue to your superiors or the human resources department.

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Here’s your complete guide to Emotional Well-being.

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