When you join any workplace, there is certain etiquette and courtesies that you are expected to follow. And unfortunately, there is no ‘How to behave at work’ crash course or training session available, no workplace etiquette rulebook. So in case you too aren’t aware of these unsaid rules, read on and enlighten yourself…
1. Tick tock
Always be on time to work. You’d rather be early, than walk in late and draw unnecessary attention, which would affect your reputation and in the long run, even your appraisals. And when you can't help being late, notify your reporting manager so that they are aware of the situation.
2. Office romance
We all know the difference between being friendly and being flirty. Be very careful of not crossing that line unintentionally - you don't want to be the subject of the next office rumour.
3. Meet your deadlines
Your boss will give you tasks with stipulated deadlines or ‘budgeted hours’ as they call them. It is assumed that you must complete your work within those deadlines. It won't be like school where the teachers keep encouraging you to complete your work - at work, self motivation is the key!
4. Keep home at home
It is expected of an employee to not carry the burden of their life problems and social commitments into their professional lives. Mixing the two is a terrible idea. Think twice before leaving work too early for a rock concert or sulking over a break up with colleagues.
5. Unplug. Just do it.
It’s only professional to keep aside your cell phones and refrain from constantly browsing through Facebook or Instagram during your work hours. And Snapchat, that’s a complete no-no, as well. It reflects a lack of focus on your office work and is likely to reflect badly upon your performance as well.
This is the most important unsaid rule - all employees are expected to wear formal attire to work. This means that you can save your short skirts, flip-flops and floral headbands for social gatherings and parties. This rule holds true especially if you are working in a client-facing firm.
7. Greet them when you meet them
Using formal greetings like 'Good morning' and 'Hope you had a good weekend, sir' is just a way of being polite and positive in the office. And funnily, these subtle courtesies are taught to us at school itself! Put them to good use!
8. Be formal, all the way
Be formal in your tone, language and pitch at all times. Avoid using casual slang words (like whassup) if you ever want to be taken seriously.
9. Communicate officially
At work, all communications are expected to take place officially to ensure that they are on record. This means that each document shared, work submitted, query, should all be via email. This allows all communication to remain on record and maintain a degree of professionalism. So don't question things when you're asked to email things that have been discussed to death, it's just the way things work.
10. Confidentiality is the way to go
Confidentiality of sensitive company information and client details is a no-brainer, right? In case that one slipped off your mind, trust us, breaking this rule is a BIG deal and can land you in BIG trouble.
11. Check you mail and respond timely
Make it a thumb rule to check your email inbox regularly and respond to every official communication as soon as possible! We're sure you don’t want to end up missing a work deadline or an important meeting memo.
Respect your boss and seniors at work. After all, they are more learned and more experienced, just like the elders at home. Moreover, they are the key to higher appraisals and performance evaluations.
13. Silence please!
It’s assumed that you are to respect work etiquette and keep cell phones on silent mode during an office meeting and refrain from having long personal conversations during work hours. If your phone starts blaring Katy Perry in the middle of a discussion - people aren't likely to forget it anytime soon.