Nailing Office Etiquette – 9 Annoyances to Avoid!

Everyone who’s worked in an office before will be aware that there are some common workplace behaviours that many people find annoying. To make sure you don't fall foul of them, we’ve written a definitive list of the top reported issues, so you can ensure you avoid being the guilty culprit in the future!

Avoiding these behaviours can really help relations in the workplace, so make sure to take notes!

  1. Leaving food in the office fridge for too long This a very popular issue for people who work in offices. Often the fridge that’s shared between many, is small; therefore, if something is left in it beyond its us by date, it gets unhygienic pretty quickly. So make sure you take your food home... at the end of the week at the latest!

  2. Not cleaning up after yourself in communal areas One of the most important points for us office workers is to keep our communal office spaces clean! You may have professional office cleaners that help you on a weekly basis, but it’s up to you and your co-workers to maintain the levels of cleanliness in between. Cleanliness is proven to impact on productivity and physical health, so remember, a clean office is a happy and healthy office!

  3. You’ve yet to learn toilet etiquette…. It might sound silly, but toilet etiquette is one of the biggest office gripes. It is also a topic that colleagues find particularly hard to confront each other about too, so make sure you are always considerate of what you leave behind you! And, always remember to wash your hands after any toilet visit (yes people notice!).

  4. Borrowing things off a co-worker’s desk without asking or returning them You may feel like you’ve become familiar enough to borrow the office equipment on each others’ desks without having to ask… but you’d be wrong. Taking equipment from a colleague’s desk without asking or returning it is cited as one of the biggest pet peeves of people who work in offices. It’s therefore important to remember that although you may be willing to share, others may not – so best to ask!

  5. Eating smelly foods! Another common issue in shared workplaces is other people’s food smells and their overpowering aroma. So whilst your taste buds might be salivating at the thought of your BBQ noodles or smoked mackerel lunch, your colleagues' noses might not be so enthusiastic. So next time you're heating up last night's curry in the communal kitchen, spare a thought for your fellow workers and open a window, consider a preemptive apology or simply look for less pungent lunches in the future!

  6. Over spraying perfume or aftershave Staying with smells in the workplace, overpowering aftershave and perfume is next on the list. Topping up your favourite perfume or aftershave whilst at work may seem like a great idea to you, but it turns out that a lot of people aren't as fond of it as you are. While it may be your favourite smell, chances are it’s not someone else’s, so think before your spray!

  7. Insisting on windows being kept open because you're too cold This is a persistent battle in nearly every office! One temperature doesn’t suit all. Whilst you might be burning up, your colleague is putting on their thermals. It can be infuriating but remember we are all different. If you know you need to be cooler than others, then make sure to wear appropriate clothing and don't forget that a personal fan is always an option. The same applies to those that feel habitually cold too!

  8. Bringing your illness into work Being a good co-worker means thinking of the other people around you, and whilst you may think that coming in when you’re ill will score some brownie points with the boss, it’s more likely to go the other way with your colleagues. Technology has made working from home so much easier now, so if you still want the brownie points but not the glares from your fellow workers next time your ill, work from home! Your colleagues will certainly thank you for it.

  9. Being un-responsive to your team Our final office annoyance is being uncommunicative! A common issue both in and outside the workplace, that’s very simple to fix! Not replying to emails or leaving the phone to ring unanswered, when they know you are there. These are just a couple of the ways you can leave your colleagues feeling disgruntled and unloved. Next time your colleague sends you an email or drops you a line, unless you are completely tied up, take a moment to acknowledge their email or answer their call. You'll be feeling the love in no time at all!