National Bring Your Manners To Work Day

The first Friday of September is National Bring Your Manners To Work Day. This day is dedicated to reminding people to be considerate and polite with their co-workers

How many of these issues happen at your place of work?

Stolen lunches?
Inappropriate clothing?
Inappropriate language?
‘Borrowed’ office supplies?
Are the boundaries of personal space and items respected?
Gossip? Who has a crush on whom, and how much do other employees earn compared to others?

Leaving no paper in the copier?
Leaving just a single sheet in the copier (yeah ,we know who you are!)

The now-famous David Thorne complaints are a perfect example of what NOT to do.

What you Can Do:

  • Does your office follow the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  • Walk around the partition to see a neighbor, instead of popping your head over the top. And as you walk down the passageways, don’t peek into each workstation.
  • Is there an atmosphere of ‘please’ ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’? Make it so.
  • Grant your neighbors private time.
  • Don’t chime in to conversations you hear if you are not already part of the conversation.
  • Whether it’s a work question you can answer or a private conversation you’d rather not hear, ignore comments that aren’t directed at you.
  • Keep lunch in the kitchen. If you absolutely can’t leave your desk for a meal, choose foods without strong odors, and dispose of your trash in the kitchen, not in your own wastebasket
  • Do not plan or perform pranks on people unwilling to participate.

Because it’s important to Bring Your Manners to Work every day, The Protocol School of Washington also offers the following dos and don’ts:

* Don’t cell yell. People tend to speak three times louder on a cell phone than in person. Mind your volume.

* Do respect people’s personal space while on the phone. A ‘safe cell distance’ is considered to be 10 feet.

* Don’t check your phone during meals and meetings. Instead keep phones off or on vibrate and pay attention to and engage those around you.

* Do dress appropriately for the work place. In other words, save the see-through dresses, sandals with socks, Lycra bike shorts, muscle shirts, and plunging necklines for other occasions.

* Don’t “borrow” from other people’s desks or (dare I even say it) lunches without permission.

* Do clean up your messes, be it in the kitchen or at the copier, don’t expect others to clean up after you.

* Don’t gossip. Over-sharing about your own personal life should also be avoided.

* Do be on time to meetings, conference calls, and appointments.

* Don’t sink to someone else’s standards. Just because coworkers behave badly is not a reason for you to follow suit. Always keep your poise and do the right thing, even if you’re doing it alone. It matters and will be noticed.

* If a coworker’s behavior is infringing upon your ability to perform your job well, address it directly with the individual.

It’s not just co-workers; employers have a responsibility to treat people working in their facility happy as well. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) surveyed its members to determine the top 10 office complaints disagreements about office temperature rank at the top of the list, proving you can’t please everybody.
1. It’s too cold.   
2. It’s too hot.
3. poor janitorial service
4. not enough conference rooms
5. not enough storage/filing space in workstation
6. poor indoor air quality
7. no privacy in workstation/office
8. inadequate parking
9. computer problems
10. noise level/too noisy

Other issues include pay, clear rules about vacation and sick days, overwork, over-managed and fair benefits.

Employees are encouraged to BE CONSIDERATE to their coworkers, and employers have an obligation to provide a safe, fair work environment.

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