Now that the excitement of the New Year is over, and many of us have to return to work, I thought, why not do a piece that ‘draaags’ some people. Not you though, unless of course you feel attacked. #Hahahah
Okay, jokes apart though, this piece on work etiquette is quite serious to my heart, especially because it is one of those topics that have many grey areas. For instance, what some people find acceptable in some organisations, will be a definite ‘no no’ in certain industries. It all depends on the culture of the company. However, in this article, I share some unspoken rules on what to do or not to do, or how not to behave in an office environment, taking your colleagues into consideration.
Be mindful of the food you bring to work
African food generally always has a lot of spice and flavour, this also translates into how it smells. I won’t mention names, 😊 but certain African foods can leave one choking if sitting near the culprit. If your office has a canteen, you may be forgiven but if not, please think of your neighbour and leave such foods to be devoured when you get home from work. I have worked in companies without canteens and have had to resort to eating in my car because I knew once I opened my bowl of food in the office, I would get more than one or two side-eyes.
Wear earphones when listening to music
This may seem obvious, but I’ll take it a step further. Try to avoid bursting into song as you listen to music. I can count the number of times a colleague or someone sitting not too far away has forgotten him or herself and has started singing a ‘special number’ because they’re really into what they’re listening to. Most times, because of your earphones you have no idea how it sounds, and I guarantee you, it sounds cringe-worthy.
Stay on top of your personal hygiene
Body odour can be very distracting, especially if like me, your colleagues have sensitive noses. You run the risk of draining the ability to work out of those around you. Seriously people, use deodorant, smell your clothes, smell your armpits, your breath etc. If you do have a body odour, there are many remedies for it. Find what works for you. Remember that you spend most of your day in the office, so the nicer your ‘aura’, the better for you and those working with you.
Take personal phone calls outside
Loud, personal calls in the office can be very distracting and uncomfortable especially as most of your colleagues probably don’t want to know the details of your last family meeting. If it’s raining outside, for example, and you’re unable to step out, keep your voice low and keep the call short. In general, personal phone calls should be kept short and to a minimum. If it’s not an emergency, offer to call the person back during your lunch break.
As I said earlier, you spend most of your day in the office with your beloved colleagues and everyone is there to work. It is each individual’s job to make the workplace conducive for productivity andcamaraderie.
None of these points may apply to you because you’re a model employee/colleague but you may be able to think of at least one person one of these points apply to.
In your most loving manner, do share this article with them. Have a productive work year!😊