A hot button from our readers is cubicle etiquette, those little things that co-workers do, that drive you up the wall.
So to bring peace to the world (okay, at least peace to your workplace) we’ve put together a list of the top 10 cubicle or office pet peeves we’ve been asked to address in our business etiquette seminars.
It’s rude to barge in. Just because there isn’t a door on your cubicle doesn’t mean people shouldn’t “knock”. To signal your presence before entering you can knock on the side of the partition or ask “Do you have a minute?”
What is it about your desk that makes it look like the supply cupboard? Ask permission before you borrow or take anyone else’s supplies.
Yee haw, you love country music! Doesn’t everybody? That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla and headphones. Check with your neighbors regarding the sound level of your radio, iPod or computer.
If you’re not deaf or invisible why do people carry on conversations with each other over your head and work space? If you need to talk directly to someone, you should go to their desk.
Why do some people use their “outside voice”, when they’re inside? Voice volume while on or off the phone should be kept low. This is why phone headsets make such a good gift idea in open offices.
Are people commenting on your perfume or cologne? Guess what? That’s a clue that it’s too strong. Many people have allergies or sensitivities so fragrances should be subtle or avoided.
Your mom/spouse/partner usually cleans up after you? They probably don’t work here, so in the lunch/coffee room, refrigerator and other shared areas, tidy up after yourself.
Why do some people seem to think that the coffee pot or photocopier gets refilled by magic? (Or does their mom work here?) If you take the last cup of coffee, make another pot.
You don’t have to advertise the fact that you are eating at your desk. Do it discreetly. No loud slurping, chomping, chewing, gum popping, odorous foods or barbecuing in your cubicle.
This is where you get to fill in your own complaint, comment below or e-mail us your personal pet peeve of workplace etiquette or office rudeness etiquette,,. You’ll feel better by getting them off your chest.
It’s hard to imagine that you could be the one that bugs your colleagues. Moi? A nice way to bring up your complaint is to first ask your neighbors if you’re doing anything that bugs them. You might be surprised at their response. That should segue nicely into you bringing up your peeves.
It’s a fact that most of us spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our families. Families take some effort and so do workplace relationships. Share this article as a starting point for ongoing discussions to ensure your workplace works for everyone.
Remember to cut each other some slack, you aren’t trying to annoy each other on purpose. Most of us don’t think a lot about workplace etiquette or how what we do affects others.
Start building some communication, self awareness and a more respectful workplace. If that doesn’t work, don’t escalate, think about bringing us in for a seminar.
Click here for a printable one page PDF version of this list.