When small business owners find themselves and their colleagues sharing closer quarters, some house rules are vitally important.
I’ve experienced close work environments first hand. Years ago, as an odor of the sea wafted through the office, a coworker blurted out, “Who brings fish to the office?” Indeed!
Whether you are a two-person office, 20, or 200, there must be boundaries of social acceptance for working together. For those who have worked in major corporations, all this information will be well understood. Yet, there still are many of us who have only worked in the smallest of companies and with that come a range of social morals that often need to be addressed.
Here are some pointers you should consider sharing with your workplace colleagues:
- Adhere to common courtesies. Fifty years ago in the office or on the factory floor, personal phone calls were severely frowned upon as disruptive to the work environment. Now that workspaces are back to open floor plans, the same rules apply. Coworkers may need to be reminded to silence cell phones and step outside or into a dedicated call space to take or make brief calls.
- Consider decorum and grooming. Everyone should be dressed for business – depending on your dress code policy. Smart business attire is always in fashion. However, this does not mean that it’s appropriate for coworkers to comb hair, clip nails, or put on makeup at their desk. The same is true for personal hygiene. Being considerate of those around you may need to be addressed.
- Follow your nose. In today’s busy world, we cannot always step out for lunch. And many people bring their midday meals to the office to help contain costs. Coworkers may not realize that last night’s leftovers could be quite pungent as well as create an odorous haze.
- Be the boss. With space a premium, you might consider jotting down key office etiquette in a memo and posting in a common area. This way, everyone understands what is expected of them, and no one can say they were not told the rules.
With some simple manners and thoughtful consideration, we all can get along at our place of business. Be sure to lead the way in workplace manners.
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