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Office etiquette rules you should know

 You spend up to eight hours a day with your colleagues (Photo: iStock)

Having basic office etiquette is absolutely necessary. Although we may not spend all our time at work, we are in that shared space for up to eight hours a day, every day.

Having been in this environment, by now you should know that there are guidelines to follow that are specific to different workplaces. At the same time, there are some generally unspoken rules that everyone is expected to know.

It's possible to have unintentionally broken some of these rules but, this is your chance to know more and grow:

Respect everyone's work area

Once we settle into a new job, there is a tendency to relax. Now you're buddies with some coworkers and have probably shared a couple of inside jokes too.

There is nothing wrong with being chilled around others but, don't let that reach a point where you forget to respect other people's workspaces. Even if you're really close with the colleague next to you, don't cause unnecessary tension by dumping your stuff on their desk or taking pens from their desk without asking.

Handle conflict professionally

Being around people with different temperaments can be very challenging at times. There is always a high possibility of unintentionally offending someone else, and the same might happen to you.

In case of conflicts or misunderstandings, you have to handle that situation in a professional manner. Doing this can de-escalate a situation and prevent it from blowing up into unnecessary office drama.

Keep personal calls private

When you have a chance to make or receive a personal call, always be careful not to let others into your business. This can happen if you usually take calls where everyone else is or if you're generally a loud talker.

If you need to talk to someone on a call, just go somewhere private and keep it down. Also, don't put your phone on loudspeaker because someone might find themselves eavesdropping on your conversation.

Keep it classy during parties and events

Parties at the workplace give us a chance to get to know our colleagues in a more relaxed environment. Unfortunately, some weird things often get exposed when people start talking too much once the liquor kicks in.

To be safe, don't get caught up in the enjoyment too much. Dress classy and avoid drinking more than you can handle because any slip-ups will define your character for the rest of your time there.

Don't overdo the perfume

It's known that we should always groom ourselves well for work. The simple basics of cleaning up, keeping your hair neat and dressing appropriately should go without saying.

Something that isn't talked about enough however is the amount of perfume that is appropriate. You might look good and everything but, a crazy amount of perfume will ruin everyone's day.

If you spilt some extra perfume on yourself by mistake that's understandable. But generally, you should only apply a small amount, especially because there are probably people with allergies in the office.

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