Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don’t cook fish in the microwave!

It is easy for us to overlook the basics of workplace etiquette when giving career advice.  But, the problem with letting things go unsaid is that it creates uncertainty.  With that in mind, here are five workplace etiquette tips that will make you more popular (or at least keep you from being less popular) around the office.
  1. Don’t cook fish in the microwave.  Or popcorn.  Or Cabbage.   We spend a lot of time in our places of work, and no one wants them to smell bad.  Don’t be that person!
  2. Don’t leave the copy machine or the printer out of paper or jammed.  Yes, fixing the copy machine can be a hassle.  But, if it broke on your watch, it’s your hassle to deal with.  Fix it!
  3. Answer your emails.  All of them, and in a timely fashion.  Email messages may be passé, but not answering them (no matter how mundane the subject) will paint you as someone without follow through.  Also, use full sentences and full words – no text speak!
  4. Don’t gossip.  We all need water cooler conversations.  But, gossip of any kind – even about individuals who don’t work in the office – will ruin your reputation.
  5. Smile, make eye contact and be friendly.  We spend a lot of time in the workplace, and being social can help make the experience better.  Just pay close attention to non-verbal signals that it’s time to stop the chit-chat and get back to work.

Remember that our offices are, in many ways, our homes away from home.  If you’ve not had a lot of experience in a professional setting previously, be sure to watch how others behave and try to mirror their best (and avoid their worst) actions.  When in doubt, find someone with more experience and ask for their input if you have questions.  

Gary Miller, Executive Director 

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