Most of us spend 80% of our time at work. Even when you like the people you work with, sometimes it’s the little things they do that can get on your last nerve. Or maybe you, too, could use a reminder of preferred office etiquette.

Crossing the line – Whether you have a corner office or share a cubical, everyone cherishes the personal office space they are given. Remember to be considerate when entering an office or cubical. Don’t touch personal items (including computers or monitors) and always return office supplies if borrowed.

It’s also important to consider your colleague’s own personal space. Many people, no matter how friendly, don’t like to be touched, poked, patted or hugged by their colleagues. Be mindful of that before you reach out.

Small Talk – Sometimes, you just want to put your head down and get to work. A chatty colleague or lingering manager can make completing work on time difficult.If you tend to enjoy the “water-cooler chat” – watch the body language of your associates for clues to ensure you’re not keeping them. If they are looking away or have their head on their hand as they listen – they are too busy, bored and most likely not listening.

Quiet Down! – For workers sharing space – especially in a cubical setting – excessive noise during the day can be difficult to overlook. Talking loudly on the phone, using speakerphone, popping gum, watching videos or listening to music (without headphones), drumming your nails or munching on crunchy snacks can get on your associates’ nerves. If you’re prone to any of these habits – try to control them while at the office.

What’s that smell? – Speaking of snacks, bringing food into the office to eat at your desk is often a no-no at many companies. If you can’t take a break to get out of the office for lunch – at least use the common kitchen area to eat, and keep the smells out of the office (no matter how great the recipe).

Other smells that could bother your colleagues include excessive perfume, cologne or scented lotions as well as a problem with body odor. Remember your personal hygiene is important to you – and the people with whom you spend most of your day!

The good news is that once you know these things can be offensive to some of your colleagues, you can stop them. Immediately.

What bad office etiquette bothers you at the office?

Jess Bedford, Marketing & Project Manager