“Reading the room”, and knowing the unspoken rules of your workplace will take you a long way in your professional and personal life.
Every office has certain unwritten rules that its employees follow that are not written in the employee handbook.
Newbie or not, it would definitely be in your best interest to follow these rules.
These rules will not just help you have a great standing with your colleagues and bosses but will set the precedence for climbing up the career ladder.
You can learn these rules by simply observing your environment, or by asking questions.
But before doing any of these, here are some examples of unspoken rules in the workplace.
Examples Of Unspoken Rules In The Office
Office Etiquettes – The Do’s
1. Be An Early Bird
Being early is one of the major unspoken rules of the workplace.
This doesn’t just involve showing up to the office on time, it involves keeping up with deadlines for submissions and turning in projects.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a new job or if you’ve been working there for quite some time.
Time is money, and no one wants their time or money wasted, especially in the workplace.
Tardiness can be really costly in the office, as it not only affects you and your productivity but that of your team and even your employer.
So even if you have to be late or behind schedule, be sure to inform your employer ahead of time.
2. Be Polite
Nobody loves a rude or sassy person.
It may seem otherwise in movies but in the real world rudeness is never appreciated especially in your workplace.
During meetings, whether in person, virtually, or via email, always be polite and kind.
If you’re wondering if something would sound rude or weird in an email, it probably is. Remember never to say anything in an email that you can’t say in person.
There’s no better place to network than in an office. There will always be more people to meet and relationships to build.
So don’t be a loner or a snob, put yourself out there and socialize.
As an introvert, I know how difficult networking and socializing can be in the workplace.
But you have to take the initiative and start that conversation or walk up to that person. Once you take that first step, it gets easier.
You can also introduce people to each other as well, just ensure to be polite and professional.
4. Dress Accordingly
Dress codes may differ from office to office but one thing to keep in mind is – always dress to impress.
So even if your dress code is business casual, formal, or informal don’t dress like you just got out of bed.
While dressing to impress you also want to be careful to not go overboard, it’s an office, not a runway.
5. Silence Is A Must
No one likes the loud coworker or unnecessary noise, which is why you must be quiet.
Need to listen to music? Use your earphones. Ringing/notifications tone too loud? Put your device on mute or vibration.
Little noises you may overlook may be quite distracting for other coworkers.
So you have to keep that in mind when doing anything. It’s important to be considerate and respectful.
Office Etiquettes – The Don’ts
1. No Gossiping
Yes, you can discuss and make small talk with your co-workers but you must never overstep.
Don’t let gossiping slip into the discussions you have with your colleagues.
Because once it does, you’ve dug yourself a hole that’ll be hard to get out of.
This will negatively affect your relationship with colleagues you gossiped about and even the ones you gossiped with.
It may even cause a rift in your workplace that’ll need to involve your boss. So avoid gossip at all costs.
2. Keep Personal Life Private
It’s okay to give out some personal info about yourself but never let it get too personal.
It’s your workplace, and your coworkers only need to know so much about you, so keep the rest a mystery.
Although, this might be a little difficult especially when you’re trying to network and you’re sharing some personal information about yourself.
3. Don’t Be Messy
Your workspace is a physical representation of who you are and this is why you must keep it clean.
Your colleagues see a dirty workspace and they will think very poorly of you. And may even label you with it.
So you must keep everywhere around you spick and span.
Always clear out your workspace – when you start work and when you end it.
Your cleanliness should also apply to other places in your workplace like the kitchen area or break room.
Be sure to tidy up when you eat and don’t leave anything even as small as a food particle of tissue lying around.
4. No Trash Talking
I get it, sometimes your job can be frustrating, and ranting online may seem like the best way to release some frustration. Trust me, it is not!
Everyone leaves a digital footprint and eventually your tweet will find its way to your employer and you can lose your job.
So don’t talk trash about your job, colleagues, and boss on the internet.
5. Send Reasonable Emails
Don’t use reply for all when sending an email that doesn’t concern everyone.
No one likes to receive unnecessary emails.
So before you send that email, think, “does everyone need to read this?”
Also remember to keep your emails professional– no emojis, no multiple exclamations, and no obscene language.
Keeping The Unspoken Rules In The Workplace
To have a smooth and amazing work-life/experience it is important to keep to the unspoken rules of the office. If you may be confused about certain rules you can find out by observing others around you or simply asking questions.
Having good office etiquette will take you higher in your job and help you keep it.
Over To You
To learn more about workplace etiquette join our Netwerk community where you get free access to our career center. And remember to always read the room.