ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Character & Professionalism

Workplace ettiquette

Updated on December 30, 2010


When you are chained to the office for nine hours per day with people, wouldn't it be nice if those people were decent?  Seriously!  Over the last ten years I've been at my day job, I have tolerated a certain individual (I WISH I was mean enough to name names) that drives me up the WALL!  I would like to provide some advice to people out there to help others in my situation.  Hopefully it will provide them with a more enjoyable work experience than what I have.

Rude noises

There is no reason - allergies, colds, deviated septum, for an individual to have to make sounds while at work so loud that people jump. My coworker can blow his nose in the bathroom and make a person jump clear across the main floor of the office area. He has blown his nose at a more reasonable volume before so I know it's possible for him. Why does it need to be that excessive? Answer - it doesn't. He's either purposely doing it to annoy others in the office or more likely - that oblivious to manners! Please watch your volume level on inappropriate sounds.

It isn't just sinuses either. Gas both the bottom end and the top should not be constants within the work environment. Neither should grunting and clearing your throat. How would you like to listen to these items all day long? That's what I thought. You wouldn't! Please pay attention to what is going on with your body and don't punish your coworkers with having to listen to body noises all day long!

Phone calls

There are multiple possible offences here. Let's start with the most annoying one. If someone doesn't answer his/her phone, don't keep calling and don't call that person's cube mates to see if he/she is at her desk. It's rude both to the person you are calling and their coworkers. Do you really thing that what you have is so important that you must talk to them now and you should interrupt others on the floor? Just wait and your coworker will get back to you.

Coworkers also don't enjoy having to listen to arrangements for several hours per day for little league, pony league or your small town rec department. We have work to do. We hope you do too. Please save it for your time off!

Some people naturally have a loud voice. These voices carry and it is natural to be heard. But sometimes people raise their voices without needing to. Don't try to talk over the person you are on the phone with, especially during work related conversations. It's rude to the person you are speaking to and it is rude to the people you work around. Interruptions are a part of life in the cubicle world but it is rediculous to not be able to concentrate for twenty-five minutes because someone two cubes away is talking over someone on the phone about something that has nothing to do with their job. Once again, save it for after work, vacation time or weekends if it's going to get that loud. If it's work related, bring it down a few decibles. I'm sure the person on the other end of the line would appreciate it too!

After hours

 When I go home for the evening, I don't expect to get a call from work.  I don't expect to hear from work during vacation time unless it's an emergency.  I REALLY don't expect to hear from work during maternity leave except for emergencies. So why do I get a call at 8:30 pm as I'm trying to give my two year old daughter a bath from this particular coworker to find out what my schedule is the next day?  It's rediculous.  You have people's home numbers for emergencies not to call to remind them to do something or to see if they'd be around to help you with something the next day.  If you didn't get around to asking something like that during the day, tough.  It will have to wait. Why do I get calls to clean up a filing problem during maternity leave.  Because these coworkers are inconsiderate!


I know most of you would think that nothing should need to be said here but you are mistaken.  Here are the problems... Wash your hands, don't use the same straw more than a couple of times.  If it turned colors, it's time for a new straw!  Don't use the underside of your chair to wipe food off of your hands.  It is not fun to be taking inventory and come across crusty food.  I don't want to touch that.  I don't even want to see that!

Your cube is not your home.  While a cluttered cube can be the norm for some people it is not normal to have leaning stacks of stuff all over the place.  Coworkers should not have to turn sideways to walk into your cube or have to step over piles that you've set on the floor because you've run out of desk space.  Bottom line, clean it up!


We are all human.  We all make mistakes.  Please don't harp on other peoples mistakes from now until doomsday.  When coworkers point out a mistake and ask for it to be fixed, please don't spend a three paragraph e-mail trying to find a way to blame it on someone else.  Fix it, tell coworkers it's fixed and move on. 

Boss hogging

Different colleague, different problem. This person sits in the bosses office a lot. Do you really know your job so poorly after a year that you must sit at her desk for an hour or more every day. Other people need access to the boss lady too! Checks need to be signed, time off approved... You know the drill. So stop hogging her. And if you are no longer bugging her, don't bug other people's bosses instead or even worse, your coworkers. We all have jobs to do. Let's do them!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      CRMoneysaver . . .Absolutely LOVED this hub. Voted up and away. It was that GOOD. Very informative, in-depth, and very, very pointed and NEEDED. Wish I had access to this when I last worked in 2002, before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Neurothopy. You brought out several great points here that I wish MY ex-officeworkers had read then. I am honored to follow you. And YOU are Cordially Invite to follow me and check my hubs if you need a good laugh. Sincerely, Kenneth Avery, from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama that looks a lot like Mayberry, on the Andy Griffith Show. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving to you.