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Women shaking hands in the workplace

Work environments are a melting pot of various personalities, habits, and preferences. Work etiquette is often a polarizing topic. Recently, someone online asked an interesting question,  “What workplace etiquette do people need to keep or start doing?” Here are the top-voted responses.

1. Power Hours

“I had a job once that instituted Power Hours. For example, from 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon, no one interrupts anyone or chats with anyone. Save your questions for a non-power hour time. It was blissful. I got so much done,” shared one.

“We have a similar thing at work, but it’s done individually, and you book it off for a whole day instead! It’s called “protected days.” On a protected day, no one’s allowed to text, email, or call you. Pure bliss,” another replied.

2. Start Staying Home When You’re Sick

People need to be allowed to stay home when they’re sick,” one answered. “It enrages me when employers encourage an atmosphere where it’s treated as some heroism or something when people drag themselves in when they should be home resting and not infecting everyone else.”

3. Stop Wearing Perfume or Cologne at Work

One person answered, “No perfume or cologne at work. Unfortunately, some people apply too much and walk around in a cloud of scent all day, while some of their coworkers suffer blocked noses, watery eyes, and respiratory problems.”

“Nurse here,” another said. “I’m always amazed when other nurses wear lots of perfume/cologne to work. We take care of so many people who are already nauseous/have nausea quickly set off by strong scents. Like, please, think for five seconds before bathing in it.”

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4. Start Wearing Headphones

“I wonder if other people have to deal with this, but please stop listening to your phone in the break room with the volume up,” one stated. “Buy some headphones or earbuds.” 

“It’s usually Facebook videos or TikTok. They’re just scrolling away, full volume blast, utterly oblivious to the other people in the room. One idiot even started playing music. Another time an older guy was listening to some sports game.”

5. Stop Showing Pics and Discussing Your Kids

“Stop showing me pictures or telling me about your kids,” said one. “I don’t care.” Another added, “Especially if that’s ALL they talk about, and have no interest in what you have to say, cause you don’t have kids.” “Can we add pets?” asked another. “I love kitty and doggo pictures as much as the next person, but ‘snuggles sitting on thing #538’ or ‘this is them being sassy’ is boring!”

6. Start Using Proper Bathroom Hygiene

“I couldn’t agree more. We have a unisex bathroom in our office, and I cannot tell you how many times I have walked in to find actual piss on the floor. And I work in a corporate, civilized environment,” one Redditor shared. Another agreed, “Tell me about it! But, unfortunately, I found out that both genders do not adhere to proper hygiene.”

7. Stop Mandating Potlucks and Gatherings

“I think potlucks and other office gatherings shouldn’t feel like a social mandate. I think COVID has effectively killed potlucks, but there’s an unnecessary push for people to be social at work,” one answered. “I am friendly with my coworkers and have even made friends at work, but I have never felt work was my primary social network.”

“When a company asks people to do things like gift exchanges and things of that nature, it makes me feel pressure to spend money and time on things I don’t have a particular interest in partaking.”

A third confessed, “My work has monthly social events to build morale. I am not spending my free time unpaid to hang out with coworkers I see all day. Do you want to build morale? Pay us more.”

8. Start Talking About Salaries

“Talk about your salary,” someone suggested, “Go to your superiors or HR together if there are salary inequalities or other issues. Help your colleagues get what they need from your employer. Working with people who have your back is a win-win situation.” Another added, “Be the worker/coworker you wish you had.”

9. Stop Gossiping

“Gossip, this will never stop- ever,” one suggested. “It’s so annoying, though. I’m so sick of these people who are talking so much trash about how she’s always late, shows up whenever she wants, doesn’t close out the way she’s supposed to, blah blah blah, then she comes into either work or passes through, and everyone’s all kissing bum, hey girl what’re you doing here, the nerve! Stop it.”

10. Start Sending Emails

Finally, someone said, “Sending an email instead of setting up a meeting. Seriously, 90% of my meetings could have been an email. Worse when it is a Zoom call and like half the time is spent asking ‘Can you hear me now,” “Oh, you’re still on mute.” Like nearing three years of virtual meetings, you still need help to use Zoom/Slack?’

11. Stop Discussing Work on My Breaks

“Please only talk to me about work if it’s urgent while I’m eating my lunch in the breakroom. I’m taking a break and looking at my phone. My manager has a bad habit of doing this, and I wish he would stop,” one confessed. Another admitted, “I started eating in my car or outdoors if possible because of this when I worked.”

12. Start Making Suggestions With Criticisms

“Criticisms should come with suggestions. Saying something is lacking without being able to offer alternatives is so frustrating. I might get what they mean, but it’s also entirely possible that this issue was foreseen already and didn’t have a neat solution,” another answered. 

This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cents + Purpose.

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