How to conduct yourself in the workplace
Office etiquette can be a tricky thing to navigate at the best of times, never mind when you’re starting your first job. You’ll be spending a large amount of time in your new work environment, so it’s important that you treat the facilities and those around you with the kind of respect you would like in return.
Although every workplace is different, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the standard behaviours that most employers will expect of you. If you take these into consideration, you will be able to conduct yourself in a professional, confident and mature manner.
When interacting with your colleagues, it’s important to remember where you are. It’s easy to get caught up in the friendships you will form with your co-workers, but at the end of the day, you are at work. Swearing is a big no, so is making rude or inappropriate comments. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t say it in front of your grandma, you probably shouldn’t say it at work!
Stick to the dress code
In the modern office, the dress code is often quite relaxed, with smart casual clothing being the norm. That said, there is always a line that you shouldn’t cross when it comes to work attire. Find out what the rules are in your new office, and if in doubt, err on the side of caution.
Be on time
Good timekeeping and attendance is essential. If you think you are going to be late, make sure to keep your manager posted, giving them an expected arrival time if you can. Similarly, it’s important to adhere to break and lunch times – don’t take longer than your allotted lunchbreak.
Most employers are understanding when it comes to taking sick days, but this should be something that should be approached with honesty and communication.
Be mindful of keeping shared spaces such as the kitchen and bathroom clean and tidy. Nobody wants to have to clean up after someone whose soup has exploded all over the microwave. If you do make a mess, don’t worry, just clean it up!
Be mindful of unwritten rules
Something that makes office conduct even harder to nail down is the fact that, unfortunately, a lot of the rules tend to be unwritten. Things like knowing when it’s your turn to make the tea round, keeping your phone on silent and not eating strong smelling foods at your desk.
The best thing you can do is use your common sense and manners, and try not to worry too much about making an office faux pas. It happens to the best of us!