15 Office Etiquette Tips to Live By

By Leah Bourne, The Vivant

Office SpaceMost of us these days are spending more time in the office than at home, and one of the biggest mistakes that you can make at work is not being aware of the various etiquette rules to live by. After all, missteps can impact promotions, raises, and especially your social cache in the office. Here, the 15 rules that you should keep in mind at all times while at work.

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1. Don't be too loud. Be mindful of your volume, whether you are talking to a colleague or on the phone. You don't want to invade anyone's personal space.

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2. Don't Interrupt your colleagues. When you are in meetings or even simply talking to a colleague in the hall, be mindful of who is talking. You don't want to be disrespectful.

3. Be mindful of office chatter. It is great to work in an office where you also can make friends, but keep chatter to a minimum. You'll know if you have gone on too long when a colleague has to walk with you to continue the conversation.

4. Don't eat smelly food. Tuna, spicy Indian food-eating smelly food can be really offensive, especially in an office with an open floor plan. Save the curry for home.

5. Hold back on the perfume. To the same point, be mindful of how much perfume that you wear at the office. Some people could be allergic.

6. Office correspondence should be formal. Think of email somewhat like a formal letter. In other words, don't use slang or abbreviations. Also, bear in mind that many companies actually store their employees emails for years, and access them from time to time to check up on their employees.

7. Share the credit. It is just good office etiquette to know when to share the credit with others. You'll come off as a team player, and more importantly, the act of good will is likely to be repaid in spades.

8. Dress for the office that you work in. Plan your office wardrobe to fit with the tone of your office. Look to your bosses for inspiration as to what is appropriate.

9. Keep your phone on silent. Your ring tone can potentially be distracting, so it's best to keep your phone on vibrate.

10. Keep the office clean. Throw your trash out on your desk, don't keep items in the communal refrigerator too long, and be mindful if you are sharing a bathroom too.

11. Don't share too much personal information with colleagues. There are a few reasons why this isn't so good-it can leave you vulnerable and also there is such a thing as TMI, especially in an office environment.

12. Be on time. Being punctual says a lot about your personal values. You want to send the message to your colleagues that you care.

13. Don't take long personal calls at your desk. It is perfectly fine to take a personal call at your desk occasionally, but keep it short so you don't disturb everyone around you. Take the call outside on your cell phone if necessary.

14. Don't play with your hair during a meeting. Refrain from playing with your hair, especially in meetings. You should also refrain from brushing your hair or applying makeup at your desk.

15. Don't come to work if you're too sick. If you are contagious, stay home for the good of the office. Show your diligence by being available online for as much of the day as possible. That being said, if you just have the sniffles, you should probably come into work.

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