With the proliferation of open-space offices, the ones without doors or barriers between desks, business etiquette is more important than ever. Here are the top etiquette rules to follow so that your and your colleagues’ days go well.
- Don’t talk louder on the phone than you would if the person was standing in front of you.
- Don’t clutter up your desk – everyone is looking at it all the time.
- Don’t use the speakerphone at your desk. Instead go to a more private space where fewer colleagues will be able to overhear.
- Don’t infringe on the personal space of others. That means don’t hang out at their desk and definitely not near their chair when they are in it. No one likes to feel crowded.
- Don’t eat smelly foods at your desk.
- Be light on your cologne – no one should be able to smell it unless they are really, really close to you.
- Be sure the ringer on your desk phone is set low.
- If you need to speak with someone who is not sitting next to you, get up and go to that person. Don’t holler across the office for them.
- Listen to music or radio only with earphones.
- No swearing.
Additionally, some other basic rules of office etiquette become even more important when the whole office can hear everything you say. These include reprimanding someone. Go to a closed door location to give bad news or reprimand someone. Hold meetings that last more than two minutes in a separate area so workers who are not included in the meeting don’t have to listen to it.
The key to successful open work places is that everyone should be aware that they are being watched, listed to and considered throughout the day. Be nice, be aware of what you are saying and don’t bring unusual attention to yourself by annoying others.