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Office Etiquettes - Do's & Don'ts

All of us are familiar with a typical office scene, with the Oh! so familiar sounds of the printers and copiers working at full throttle and everyone furiously typing on the keyboards in a frenzied trance-like state. A good office environment in my opinion is one conducive to personal and professional growth.

Certain practices are not looked upon kindly in an office -

What Not To Do In Office


A Time & Place For Everything :

I am sure you have met certain personalities in any office you may happen to visit who are not only loud but also don’t seem to be able to put an end to their ramblings about the latest episode of Desperate Housewives or the latest fashion in boots that she has to have!! While we are not under the control of a Communist regime, talking about non work related topics should be kept to a minimum. I always believe that there is a time and place for everything. It is best to hold such long winded discussions about topics that may be uninteresting and distracting to others, during lunch time or preferably in the lunch room.

While In Office, Work : Making personal phone calls and having insignificant conversations that are not urgent in an open office are also a big distraction and a waste of company revenue. We are after all paid to be in the office working for the enhancement of our company. Besides, no one really cares to hear about their colleagues’ personal lives!!

Do Not Disturb : Listening to music loudly on a speaker in the office is an absolute no-no!! Some people take undue advantage of the absence of business rules being outlined and enforced strictly by their company. You may think I am kidding when I say this, but since I work in a non-corporate office environment, the woman sitting right across from me has loud music and podcasts playing on her speaker about topics I find offensive and crass. I feel it is best to bring it to your boss’ attention and if that doesn’t work, you should approach your Human Resources department.

Mind Your Own Business : It is sensible to refrain from making any comments to people about their clothes or anything about their personality. Not only can you get a soft nudge from HR, but also may get into more serious trouble such as harassment of some kind! While it is certainly acceptable to have an opinion about something or someone, it is not always tactful to voice it.


Avoid Getting Involved In Office Politics

I personally like to stay away from all office politics and cliques. We are not here to “hang out with the girls” but to work and contribute in our own way to the growth and advancement of our employer. While it is very important to have a good working relation with your boss, it is petty to stoop to bootlicking and fake compliments.

Surfing The Net : Using the internet for personal use depends on discretion of the employer. But it amazes me when I see people around me who seem to be coming to work to check their personal emails (in case they don’t have any internet access outside of work) and catching up with friends all day on gmail chat!! Despite the culture in your office in general, I feel there is a certain amount of decorum that we must uphold while in the office.

Contributing Writer:  The Author is a Contributing Freelance Writer at

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