Office etiquette linked with communication

There is a reason why they put effective communication skills as a subject in many of today’s management and media courses. For it is only your communication, which defines how you are perceived, worked with and appraised.

We communicate multitude of messages in a variety of ways at work. While what you say is important, your non verbal actions are, too. Following are common behaviors that could lead your colleagues to pick up a different meaning than what you intend.

E-mail clarity:

For today’s companies hooked onto email for internal and external communication, nothing breeds more misunderstandings than email. It’s easy to simply write “OK” in response to a message from a colleague or client, but you risk your brevity being viewed as dismissive or rude. While most professionals are stressed in today’s fast business environment, your communications should clarify and not confuse. Instead of immediately sending an informal, terse and potentially perplexing reply take a moment to craft a grammatically correct response that is succinct yet clear.

Door seen always closed:

Professionals close their office doors for a host of legitimate purposes. For instance, if you’re engaged in a confidential discussion or are on an important call, it’s obviously beneficial to have some privacy. But if you keep your door shut all the time, it sends the message that you don’t want to be bothered. If you like to work with some privacy, leave the door slightly ajar which gives a feeling which says “feel free to knock” when working under major time constraints, consider taping a message on the door that reads ‘Currently on a fast track assignment, please leave me a note’ or similar meaning. Explaining your situation will foster more goodwill than shutting out people completely.

Office attire:

Office-appropriate attire has certainly changed over the years,. Even though formal business suits aren’t a requirement in most of our workplaces, etiquette rules (at least norms) still apply. Comfort may aid productivity, but steer clear of wearing flip-flops sweat suits and tattered or revealing clothing. Also, the work environment isn’t the proper place to show off flashy clothes. Improper attire could be sending the message that you’re not a serious professional.

Some function perceptions:

Many of us harbor the belief that music is an impediment to productivity. Others, however, feel music improves their mood and ability to concentrate. If you listen to tunes to help you focus, you could unintentionally be telling coworkers that you prefer being alone. Hit the right note by going ear bud free at least part of the time. Sometimes plugging in Ipod is the only way to communicate that the employee needs some privacy for that moment.

Give your office space a personality:

Different people are inspired by different images. When decorating your cubicle or desk, the key is to give office space some “personality” while not inadvertently alienating or offending others. You may have fond memories of a college excursion but wacky or revealing photos of wild events should be relegated to home office.

Items you feel send the message that you’re “fun loving” or “humoros” might be deemed “unprofessional” by someone else. It’s also wise to avoid controversy by not displaying political materials. There’s a big difference between hanging a poster featuring an inspirational quote from a former president and posting a current candidate’s political sign.

Despite good intentions, workplace misunderstandings will occur from time to time. But by thinking about the number of messages you may be sending, you’ll significantly minimize misinterpretations.

We asked some of the office goers about the above actions, and they gave us some more actions too, which irked them to no end. We can make out whether our colleague is approachable or not just by his or her eating habits. If one shares food, eats with the rest occasionally, joins us at dinner parties or simply claps at a cake-cutting, it gives us a positive air.

In a high pressure atmosphere, smoke breaks often prove crucial to ease our minds and socialize. So, it’s annoying when someone calls you out to smoke and then doesn’t show up. It gives one of the feeling that they’re too pricy and always playing Mr Busy.

  • Partha Bhattacharya

    Good article. If we can get ppt on this topic it will be more helpful.

  • S.Lakshmi

    Nice artical. Would like to read more about how to develop positive atmosphere in office.