Author Topic: Workplace etiquette  (Read 39188 times)

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Lisbeth

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Workplace etiquette
« on: April 09, 2009, 12:27:27 PM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  Take cues from your superiors, co-workers, and any company regulations as to what is acceptable.  When in doubt, dress more conservatively/mainstream.

2.  Respect those around you by keeping your voice and music at reasonable volumes, both on and off the telephone. 

3.  Don't engage in conversations about personal invitational events with co-workers in the presence of those who are not being invited.  Don't discuss religious or political matters with co-workers, vendors, or clients unless the organization is of that particular faith or political leaning, and don't discuss really personal matters at all.

4.  If your workplace has a kitchen/eating area, keep it clean-don't leave garbage around or put dirty dishes in the sink.  Wash, dry, and put away used dishes or put them in the dishwasher if there is one, and throw the garbage in a trash can.  Do not eat or drink in areas where this is designated off-limits.

5.  Obey any rules and ordinances about not smoking in the office or only in designated smoking areas.

6.  If office equipment like copiers, fax machines, and printers become jammed, need toner changes, or otherwise stop working, immediately notify the appropriate person, but don't attempt to fix the problem yourself unless you are the appropriate person (office manager, receptionist, admin, IT personnel, etc.).

7.  Don't leave papers, paper clips, broken staples, etc. in the areas around copiers and fax machines-throw bad copies and broken staples in the garbage and keep the areas around copiers and fax machines clean.

8.  Collect your papers as soon as you are through using a printer, copier, or fax machine-don't leave them in the machine, especially if they contain confidential information.

9.  If your workplace allows you to circulate petitions or do fundraising, don't put pressure on your co-workers to support your causes.  Let them decide whether or not to do it and how much they wish to participate or contribute.

10.  Your co-workers are not there to babysit or entertain your children.  Unless your company participates in a "Take your child to work" type occasion, make other arrangements for having your children babysat.  If you do bring your child to the workplace for whatever reason, it is your job to keep your child under control and see that s/he obeys the rules of the workplace.

11.  If you and your co-workers bring in food or drink to be shared by everyone, take no more than your fair share.  If you are allowed to store foods in a communal refrigerator that are for your consumption alone, label yours and do not touch others'.

12.  Don't use your office computer for unauthorized personal use, including Internet browsing and E-mail.  Keep anything that could compromise your job off your computer.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 09:06:31 PM by KeenReader »
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 01:54:51 PM »
Addendum to #4:

Don't monopolize any communal appliances.  If you drink decaf but everyone else drinks regular and there is only one coffee pot, either bring a thermos from home, bring your own small pot or use instant. 

Don't bring a meal that needs to be cooked in the microwave, rather than reheated.  If it is going to take longer than 5 minutes to nuke your lunch, do it at an off peak time.  Everyone only gets so long for a lunch break.
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kitty-cat

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 05:15:27 PM »
13: If there is only one printer/faxer/copier/scanner machine- try to do enormous print jobs at off times, such as early in the morning or lunchish.  Preferably early morning so that the person whose job it is to use the scanner can use it.  (Our machine can only do one of the above at a time)

14: Please remember that casual days mean that you still have to look decent.  No ratty sweats or stained t-shirts.





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Nurvingiel

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 07:01:15 PM »
More for #6:

If you want to save paper and you use a group printer, print double-sided (if your printer settings have this feature).  Do not take paper that's blank on one side and load it into the printer tray.  Since this is a group printer, this means you could be messing up the next queued print job (causing the waste of more paper than if you had printed normally in the first place.  Someone my Dad used to work with used to do this and it drove him totally nuts.  Not only was it irritating for the person whose print job is ruined, it actually was a waste of paper anyway.

I also think it's alright to, say, unjam stuck paper if you know how.  I can do that but I don't know how to replace toner cartriges.  There's another guy in the office who does know how to do that though.  We're a small office and we all just keep this sort of thing running ourselves.
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KitFox

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 10:26:55 AM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

Lisbeth

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 10:35:04 AM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.
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Mahdoumi

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 12:40:51 PM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

Virg

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 03:06:29 PM »
Mahdoumi wrote:

"The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.""

Of course, there was a comedian who once said, "My boss told me to dress for the job that I want.  So I showed up the next day in a Cubs uniform."

Anyway, my additions:

If you use up a communal resource, replace it, refill it or notify that person who can so that it's available for the next person.

Take care not to interfere with other people's work if possible.  Don't chitchat if they can't take the time.  Don't do stuff that ties up resources that someone else will need on a deadline.  Let someone know you're going off for lunch if you're the only one with a forklift license and a big shipment is due in while you'll be hard to find.  Consider your actions in the context of making the workplace run as smoothly as possible.

I'll also modify "Don't use your office computer for unauthorized personal use, including Internet browsing and E-mail."  I'll say, Remember that your company computer (or whatever) is the company's property, and so don't treat it as your own.  Follow the rules laid out for company equipment use, only "personalize" it if the rules allow, and don't store anything on it or in it that you don't want the company to have access to.

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ginlyn32

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 03:12:29 PM »
15) The Golden Rule of the Internet still applies: If you wouldn't want your Mother or Boss to see it, don't post about it! Yes, people have been warned and even been fired for things they posted about online! (no I don't think this is fair, but hey...that's life!)

16) Unless you work in a vetrenarian's office or some sort of animal rescue, it's never appropriate to bring an animal to work. Unless it's a service animal.

17) Make an honest effort to keep your work area clean. Don't make a mess and then leave it for the Janitoral Staff to clean because "that's what they get paid for". Also, if you do happen to clog the toilet, use the plunger to clear it. If it's really bad, call maitenence, but don't just leave it for the next person to find.

18) If you find that you are going to be late to work (10 car pileup on the freeway or your alarm didn't go off), please call! Don't leave the rest of your crew/team wondering where you are.

19) Do not comment on anyone's usage of sickleave/vacation time.

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KitFox

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 04:50:50 PM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

I didn't assume we were talking about conservative, corporate offices alone. There are a great deal of companies that are fine with piercings/tattoos, and I think narrowing jobs they're all right for down to 1) stripper, or 2) club worker, is a bit, well, harsh.
If the company dress code allows for them, then I don't think you can say it's in bad taste. To me, this is like the hair issue discussed in "All In A Day's Work" where someone was told they were "unprofessional" for having long hair. (I think the thread was titled "That's news to me.") Some might see certain things as unprofessional, and some might not, but a personal choice that is not against company policy is not de facto bad etiquette.

WhiteTigerCub

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 05:03:10 PM »
20) Keep personal cell phones on vibrate or 'silent' mode so that they do not disturb others around your work area.

21) Check with your employer on their 'cell phone' policy. Some may restrict use of a personal cell phone while sitting at one's desk area.

22) If possible take your personal call away from your desk area to some place more private so that co-workers are not subjected to knowing unnecessary details about your personal life.

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Lisbeth

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 10:30:07 PM »
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

I didn't assume we were talking about conservative, corporate offices alone. There are a great deal of companies that are fine with piercings/tattoos, and I think narrowing jobs they're all right for down to 1) stripper, or 2) club worker, is a bit, well, harsh.
If the company dress code allows for them, then I don't think you can say it's in bad taste. To me, this is like the hair issue discussed in "All In A Day's Work" where someone was told they were "unprofessional" for having long hair. (I think the thread was titled "That's news to me.") Some might see certain things as unprofessional, and some might not, but a personal choice that is not against company policy is not de facto bad etiquette.

Actually, this isn't true.  If it's company policy to do shady things like offer bribes to get business, it's still bad etiquette, not to mention illegal. So "personal choice" isn't necessarily professional or good etiquette.

Body piercing may not be illegal, and it's definitely one's personal choice, but when you are hired, you are there to represent the company and its policies, not to show off your personal choices.  And there is a general sense of professional dress in which visible piercings simply isn't considered good etiquette.  The company you work for doesn't mind it, but many do, and that's why I said, "When in doubt, leave it out" before.
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Kaylee

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 10:55:50 PM »
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 

Lisbeth

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 11:03:32 PM »
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 

No, I am not talking about pierced ears but piercings in other places.  Let's not split hairs over where on the body the piercings are.

And I think that for many professions it does come across as unprofessional and not appropriate to have visible body piercings.

So I disagree with you.
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Kaylee

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Re: Workplace etiquette
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 11:12:29 PM »
My point is that it is still splitting hairs to make a general rule that 'visible piercings' are rude.  It's a purely cultural phenomenon that some piercings are considered unusual enough to be possibly off-putting.

No one would ever, in any situation, say a word to an Indian woman who had a nose piercing, even though that is a more nontraditional Western piercing, because we recognize that in her culture, it is traditional.  These things are contextual.  And there are many, many workplaces where other piercings are not at all inappropriate or thought of as unprofessional--not everyone works in an office, or even in an office where that is the case.  I don't disagree with the idea that they may be inappropriate in some locations, but I am suggesting that we not limit a general list, being created for the potential purpose of a published book, to the ideas of etiquette in conservative workplaces.

You may disagree with me, but my understanding was that these lists were open to suggestions.  If that's not the case, never mind.  Your 'when in doubt, leave it out' is something I could agree with.  "No visible piercings" is just too general.