What Are Some Basic Rules in the Workplace?

In the workplace, there are basic common sense rules which every employee should practice. From good manners to other rules being followed, these things make everyone’s work life easier. Another point is that following the rules can help to advance your career opportunities.

Rules for good manners

Everyone should know what good manners are and what they aren’t. But you would be surprised at how many co-workers don’t use them. A refresher course is listed below for those who need it:

  • Always say please and thank you: This may seem as if it were a no-brainer, but many co-workers don’t say this when asking for something or even if they’re asking someone to do a favor for them.
  • When in the elevator at work, greet everyone who comes in: You may not work with the people, but they are in your building or even in the office down the hall. When you get into the elevator, nod hello or say hi. Avoiding eye contact as if the person doesn’t exist is rude.
  • Do a coffee run: If you’re getting coffee, ask your fellow employees within your workspace if anyone would like coffee or tea. Picking up a couple of cups isn’t a big deal, unless it’s an expensive coffee place, then you may want to take pre-paid orders.
  • Don’t interrupt when someone is talking: You shouldn’t interrupt someone when they’re talking. That is unless you need to do so and then you say, “excuse me for interrupting.” It also applies if you accidentally walk in between two people who are having a conversation. Then you say,”excuse me.”
  • Apologize: If you’re having a bad day and you’re short or rude, apologize. Or if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, or if you’ve made a mistake that causes a problem with work, apologize too. Even if you’re embarrassed over the mistake, own up and try to rectify it.
  • Complaining: Complaining doesn’t solve anything; it affects the atmosphere in the office, and you can hurt someone’s feelings by your words. Instead of complaining, try to find a way to solve the issue.
  • Personal remarks: It’s used to be rude to make personal remarks, but now it’s considered normal. Regardless, it’s still rude. You can still tell someone that you like their outfit in your same gender though. Commenting on say, someone’s weight gain isn’t polite.

Company rules

There are often specific company rules when working for a company, and these rules are there for good reasons. Some of these rules may be:

  • Safety and security: You should never take a security or safety feature at your place of employment for granted. For example, if there is a key-coded door, don’t let the person behind you follow you in. They may not even work at your place of employment but are just waiting for unlawful access.
  • Confidential information: Don’t share your passwords and keep confidential data unsecured. Don’t casually talk about information which is confidential with vendors, other employees or customers.
  • Business ethics: You want to keep your standard of ethics high. If any doubts are caused by your business ethics, it can damage your career. Be aware of social/business ethics at work and don’t give cause for sexual harassment issues also. It is a real problem and because of this even innocent things can be taken wrongly today. Part of your work personality is your work reputation, and you want to keep it spotless.

Unspoken rules to think about

Unspoken rules are rules that you should know about without having them explained to you. Some of these rules may be when at work, keep your private issues private. Don’t let personal problems get in the way of performing your job. They need to be dealt with on your time, not the company’s time.

Don’t be a distraction at the workplace either. Your co-workers are at work to do their jobs, not to be distracted by matters which aren’t any concern of theirs or are silly like practical jokes. You aren’t lightening up anyone’s day if you cost them time. Focus on your work, and your colleagues will be able to focus on theirs. Be a professional always, even if you don’t like the person you’re dealing with; you have a job to do.

Most of these rules are common sense, but some people you work with may not abide by them. Sometimes examples will speak louder than words.