Sometimes rules are clear, and sometimes they're only implied - so find out some of the unwritten rules of the office!
Getting a new job can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Most of us dread going to an interview, but once we get there our performance usually goes great. That’s because most of us know what it feels like to be in an interview, and most of us have also been asked some questions in interviews that we knew the answer to beforehand. The thing about interviews is that they are designed to throw you off your game so you don’t become too comfortable with the new person that you might be about to work with for the next several months or years. With that being said, most of us also know what it feels like when we encounter a situation in a new office that feels strange and awkward. There are some unspoken rules every office has that everyone needs to know if they hope to find their place in their new workplace, as well as fit in with the rest of the employees.
You are at work; there are certain things that are off limits. In most cases, these are things about which can get you in trouble either legally, or for violating someone’s personal space. Politics and religion are two things that most employers don’t want to see employees get vocal about. If you do get riled up about politics or religion, be aware that you are stepping into a potentially dangerous territory. This could lead to you getting fired, getting into legal trouble with the company, or sued by a fellow employee.
Even though you would like to know what your co-workers do when they are not working, you should keep your nose out of their personal lives. You may think that you are being friendly by asking what your new co-workers do for fun or what their favourite bands are, but you are actually being intrusive. People have boundaries, and you should respect them as much as you respect yourself. If you really want to know about your co-workers, ask them questions about their jobs and their responsibilities.
You are at work. You are proud of your appearance, and you want to let your co-workers know about it. This is a great idea and is always well-received, but you should keep it in check before you start wearing the same outfit every day. Wearing the same outfit every day doesn’t really do anything except show everyone in the office that you are stuck-up and don’t care much about your appearance. You should wear what makes you feel good and what makes you look good. Try changing up your outfit every day and adding or changing an item of clothing. Some people recommend wearing buttoned shirts with a sweater or jacket over the top. Shirts are not only more professional looking, but they are also easier to take off if you want to take your jacket off for the summer months.
While you are at work, you are supposed to be focused and working hard. You should not be taking long amounts of time out for lunches and socialising with your co-workers. It’s completely fine to take your lunch break for yourself, but you shouldn’t be pushing it and taking longer than your lunch break allows. It’s also a good idea to let your co-workers know that you are staying in touch with them via email and phone calls, so they can reach you in an emergency. Work is supposed to be a place where you are meant to be focused and working hard. You are not supposed to be taking long lunches and socializing with your co-workers all day. Another thing to mention is when eating lunch in an office or enclosed workspace you should not be microwaving or eating anything that smells strongly. While you may like the smell and enjoy eating it your co-workers may not enjoy the smell of what you’re eating.
Now that you know what you should and shouldn’t do while at work, you are hopefully a little more prepared for a new job or new workplace. Remember, there are always a few unspoken rules in every office, so be sure to keep your guard up. Now that you are aware of what not to do, be sure to apply these rules to your new job to make sure you fit in and make an impression on your new co-workers. Keep these tips in mind, and you will be well on your way.
If you've found these unwritten rules interesting, why not check out some of our other blogs?