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9 Rules of Etiquette to Follow When Working in an Open Office

The working spaces of today are more open than before; more entrepreneurs see the cost benefits of hiring an open space instead of a closed one, since it is cheaper in the long term, for those who choose not to, they will opt to work in a garage, spare bedroom, basement, or another form of office space. For the advocates of the open-space plan, they can put multiple members of their staff in a single room and leave them to work together.

While it is ideal to have each employee have their own space to work in, many times that proves to be costly and unrealistic. If you are among the many that use an open space, then you need to observe some etiquette rules to make sure you are not interfering with co-workers or employees.

Respect the needs of others to work

Even though others are seated near you, that does not mean or imply they are constantly available for conversation any time you want. Part of being productive and encouraging others to do their best involves respecting their own need for privacy and focus on your own tasks.

When working, act as though there is a door between you and them. If you are seeing them being busy at their job and you want to interrupt them, then politely inquire if they have a moment to talk with you.

Maintain awareness about smells

The last thing you need when you are in close proximity to your co-workers is allowing the presence or spread of bad smells. Because open office spaces tend to be tight, any bad or good smell will be magnified, so keep that in consideration as you pack your snacks or lunch.

If the office has a kitchen and you want to eat, go there and take your lunch, or you can head outside if there is no separate room. In addition, bear in mind that some individuals have allergic reactions to scents, so skip the idea of applying a strong perfume, aftershave or cologne. However, never fail to pay close attention to your personal grooming habits.

Minimize noises and distractions

You are in an office and working, so noise will be inevitable at some point during the day. However, you need to minimize them, as you do not want to be the cause of someone’s unproductivity.

For this reason, any noisy conversations between you and coworkers, getting up frequently, tapping on your desk, constant fidgeting, and other irritating behaviors need to be kept at a minimum. They can interfere with the ability of others to concentrate on their tasks. If you would like to listen to some music, videos or podcasts, then make sure to use earbuds or headphones.

Remain neat

There are few things that are as bad as entering into an office and expecting someone to serve you, yet seeing everything is all over the place and the desk looks as though a strong blast of wind just passed through. When in an open office, it becomes worse because your desk becomes a distraction to others and paints a bad image of the company you work for; a distraction they can live without.

If you have belongings on your desk, then confine them in your own personal space. Make sure you tidy your working area before you leave. If you are sharing a desk with a co-worker, then ensure you remove any personal items, including office supplies and coffee cups, and so on.

Always respect the space of others

Going back to the third rule, respecting the personal space of others is essential to making others productive and happy. Just because someone else is close to you, that does not give you any permission to treat it as a common domain where you can enter and leave as you please.

Treat the spaces of other people as though they are private offices. If they have items of theirs, do not simply help yourself to any of that. In addition, if you need something, ask them first or go to the supply closet to get what you need.

Avoid coming in sick to work

Because you are working in close quarters, it is easy to become sick when a co-worker is unwell because of how easy it is to transfer germs. If you happen to be sick, stay at home.

If you must come to work, then always remember to practice good hygiene habits, such as having hand sanitizer close to you, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and wiping your desk, phone, and computer keyboard frequently to prevent the spreading of germs.

Be mindful of others

When you are working with others in an open-office environment, respect and consideration of their needs is always important. When you act respectful, it is easier to expect others to act in the same way.

Make sure you set rules of conducting with your co-workers and any visitors that come, and always reiterate those boundaries when someone crosses them or annoys you. When you are working, the best approach is addressing concerns and problems diplomatically and promptly before they build up into other issues.

Remain tolerant of others

Just like those who agree with topics like gambling and agreeing with spin palace reviews, and the people who do not agree with the activity at all, approaches to work will be different among different people. You are working with different people, who all have different personalities and needs. Therefore, things will not always go well, and some things they do will annoy you – even their working styles. However, if you want to maintain productivity in your work, you need to be tolerant of these differences. Listen with the intention of learning, keep an open mind, and continue to focus on good things.

Operate and think as a team

The essence of greatness in an organization is having all its members thinking on the same page about things. Do not spread negative news or gossip about your employees or co-workers, and do not grumble about insignificant issues. Talk about concerns with every member openly, and exchange ideas with them to make them feel part of the team.

Final thoughts

Fostering healthy communication and productivity in an open office environment might seem like a challenge at first, but it becomes easy once you set the rules of engagement.

Published inBusinessBusiness AdviceGuest Post