Top Office Etiquette Mistakes


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There are plenty of office etiquette lessons every employee should be cognizant of. From spreading too much gossip to talking too loudly around other co-workers, there are a host of mistakes that do nothing more than slow down everyone's day. See which mistakes made the list and what you can do to keep them from happening at your company.

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Top Office Etiquette Mistakes

  1. Office Etiquette Mistakes 800-566-3159 |
  2. What’s the worst office etiquette you’ve experienced?
  3. Was it a co-worker encroaching on your personal space?
  4. Or was it excessive grooming…
  5. …At the lunch table?
  6. There are plenty of office etiquette blunders that disrupt productivity.
  7. And productivity drop-offs are no laughing matter.
  8. The latest Gallup research shows that employee engagement among the U.S. workforce is hovering around 30%.
  9. 7 out of 10 employees struggle to keep focused.
  10. And office etiquette breaches are just one of many reasons for employee disengagement.
  11. So without further ado, let’s look at the top 10 office etiquette blunders…
  12. …And what you can do to stop them.
  13. HR Magazine once estimated that employee tardiness cost U.S. companies over $3 billion dollars each year – and that was back in 2003!!
  14. OK, so what can you do?
  15. Regulate better.
  16. Make stricter meeting times and be more vocal about everyone in the meeting showing up 5 minutes early.
  17. Train managers – or whoever’s in charge of each meeting – to develop meetings with more urgency.
  18. Send agendas out well before the meeting so employees can be on the same page.
  19. Every office has a few employees who are just too eager to learn about everyone else’s daily business.
  20. Simple interruptions are OK in small doses.
  21. Unless it becomes a pattern.
  22. Mitigate the problem with an off-the-shelf course on valuing time.
  23. Here are some of the smelliest foods you should NOT bring for lunch.
  24. Tuna Fish Sandwich
  25. Or any fish, really
  26. Popcorn
  27. Garlic
  28. Bacon
  29. Steamed
  30. Nothing against the food, it’s just you need to be mindful of other employees eating around you.
  31. Absenteeism, whether that’s due to an illness or to the costs of disability and workers’ compensation, costs U.S. businesses more than $576 billion dollars a year.
  32. From that amount, nearly $227 billion is said to be “presenteeism” – employees who show up to work sick but their illness prevents them from working effectively.
  33. The odds of that ailing employee fulfilling his or her duties in a timely and efficient manner are very low.
  34. Not to mention…
  35. It puts other employees at risk of catching that person’s illness.
  36. Which is why companies must be more transparent with their staff and communicate the health and safety concerns of what happens when sick employees roam the cubicles.
  37. Train them on best practices of notifying the company of their illness.
  38. Or create a course around the benefits of telecommuting, especially if it’s an extended illness (or accident) to help alleviate the employee’s concern of not being in the office to work.
  39. In our recent eBook on “How to Manage Workplace Distractions,” we brought up a recent poll that pegged noisy co-workers as the number one nuisance to other employees getting things done. Nearly 63% vouched for that. The hardest part about asking a loud employee to quiet down is our fear of being perceived as rude by the offender.
  40. So let’s go over some quick ways to approach this issue.
  41. Be respectful. Never be aggressive with how you ask them to tone it down.
  42. Don’t let the issue linger. Tell them face to face the instant it bothers you.
  43. That last tip’s especially important because you don’t want to find yourself in the next no-no…
  44. “I heard Walt’s getting promoted. What do you think about that?” “I think David got the account because Glen likes him better than me.” “I hear those two might be dating? What have you heard?” “The new guy. I don’t know about him.” “Jessie’s always sick.” “I heard they might lay off some of the staff.” “I heard Ned complaining the other day about so and so.” “Man, she had the music up so loud. Did it bother you?”
  45. A study from the University of Amsterdam concluded that 90% of casual office conversation is gossip. And researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say that around 15% of emails passed around the office are gossip.
  46. There is the argument that gossip is a way co-workers bond with one another, but in all fairness, certain topics could be alienating others in the process.
  47. So if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  48. Avoid the pitfalls of gossip and refresh your employees on how certain secrets or stories could be offensive to those working around you.
  49. There’s no need to leave a voicemail that’s more than a minute long. Any voicemail from one employee to the next that stretches past a minute is unproductive.
  50. Always email, or send a quick text if it’s truly urgent business and you know the employee is away from their desk.
  51. Thinking outside of the workplace for just a moment: According to the Pew Institute, the number of text messages sent monthly in the U.S. surged from 14 billion back in 2000 all the way to 188 billion in 2010.
  52. Does that mean your employees are sending nearly a billion texts per month?
  53. No. Well, definitely not in the billions, or millions for that matter.
  54. However, too much texting can be disruptive to others around you.
  55. If the phone isn’t set to “Silent,” others will hear whatever noise your phone makes for every incoming message.
  56. Just know there’s a time and a place to communicate outside of work. Teach your employees to respect the sounds of silence and keep their texting and social media browsing to a minimum.
  57. “Oh, yeah I can top that!” One-Uppers aren’t personalities that employees will put up with for long.
  58. You need team players.
  59. Being a team player means being able to celebrate the wins of others and knowing the difference between healthy & cutthroat competition.
  60. It’s collaborating efficiently and putting aside the trivialities of work – like office etiquette blunders – in favor of higher productivity and better employee relationships.
  61. There is hope. Most of these behaviors can be changed or at least minimized. And we can help.
  62. See how our knowledge sharing platform, Thinkzoom, can help with better communication and productivity today. Follow us