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What not to do in the workplace
The 4 Musts of On-The-Job Etiquette
- Be Personable, not Personal. There is a fine line between friendly and too friendly when it comes to the workplace. Giving complements on a new haircut or asking for recommendations for local restaurants are fine, but broadcasting details about your crazy night out, forwarding inappropriate e-mails or soliciting relationship advice is just going too far. Not only will it make your co-workers uncomfortable, but it is also far from professional. And be aware, it will come back to bite you.
- Steer clear of hearsay. Every business has at least one "office gossip". They wait in restrooms and cafeterias, just dying to drag unsuspecting passers-by into the latest drama. Not only do you want to avoid being associated with the rumors, but you don't want to be the next victim either. The best way to avoid this social scoundrel is to just ignore it. A smile and uncomfortable laugh will keep them from coming back to you and also keep your name out of their mouth.
- Workplace Relationships: Now this has bad idea written all over it. Whether it is your peer or a supervisor, if you absolutely must indulge, make sure to keep your personal relationship separate from your work relationship. And even though that 15 minute break can make for a great steamy rendezvous, getting caught could lead to a major reprimand, or worse, unemployment.
- Freedom of Speech... Sort of. Although we are blessed to live in a country with free speech, many states also exercise "at will" employment. Expressing your opinion of your employer, co-workers, customers, etc. is more than tacky; it could cost you your job. Keep in mind that in the workplace, image is everything, and your opinions can make you appear unprofessional, indiscreet and disposable.