From co-working to collaborative workspaces, the modern office continues to become more and more “open” —requiring colleagues to take a new look at being respectful within shared spaces.
Whether you’re in a boutique office, a sprawling call center, or a shared workspace, consider these eight ways to be respectful of your coworkers.
#1. Watch the Noise Level
This might seem like a no-brainer, but everyone around you (most likely) is trying to focus on his or her work —always be courteous with your noise level. A great pair of headphones can go a long way in the workplace. Adjusting the ringer on your phone is welcomed. And, it’s best practice to take extended conversations and meetings to conference rooms.
#2. Keep Distractions to a Minimum
In addition to keeping your noise level in check, try to not be a distraction to those around you. This could mean oiling a squeaky chair, working on your fidgeting habit, or simply limiting the number of times you come to and from your desk.
#3. Be Organized
No one wants to see your messy and unprofessional workspace. Don’t let your desk be an eyesore. If you don’t have a private office with the luxury of ample storage, seek creative solutions —like portable files or storage bins— to keep things neat and tidy.
#4. Respect Coworkers’ Time
You’re at work —your colleagues are likely handling business, working to meet deadlines, or prepping for meetings. Just because you’re in a shared or open office environment, it doesn’t mean you should interrupt. Always ask if someone has time to talk and be respectful of his or her time.
#5. Be Helpful
Current office design trends —like collaborative work environments, communal areas like lounges and kitchens, and outdoor spaces— mean there are more places to keep clean and tidy. Do your part! Make sure you’re helping out where you can.
#6. Remain Flexible
More open and collaborative workspaces means that impromptu meetings will inevitably happen, there will be times it’s too loud to concentrate, and you may have less privacy for outgoing calls. Remember —be flexible. Perhaps you take your laptop to a quiet area until the commotion clears or step outside for a fresh air break. Keeping an open mind and trying your best to go with the flow will help to ensure a productive workplace.
#7. Don’t Be Smelly
This applies to both your physical being and the space around you. If you’re in close quarters with your colleagues, it’s only courteous to practice good hygiene. On the flip side, it also means being considerate of eating foods at your desk with smells that will linger.
#8. Keep the Inbox Clean
Lastly, keep unnecessary emails to a minimum. There’s nothing worse than being copied on an endless email chain unnecessarily or getting ten short emails that could have been condensed to one well thought out communication. You could also consider Slack, which allows you to message outside of email with other team members about projects and more.
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