Everybody knows and follows general work ethics such as being present at work, doing tasks assigned to you, attending meetings, etc. Apart from these typical office routines, there are some behaviors that are not discussed but should be avoided if you don’t want to distract colleagues.
Unspoken work ethics…
Don’t bite an apple at work
It’s not a joke! Every bite you take from your apple may be a very noisy distraction for your office mates. Keep it quiet. Eat as many apples as you want AT HOME. The same applies for peaches, pears, etc. If you really have to eat fruits, go for bananas or grapes, which can be eaten quietly. If you love apples so much that you can’t survive without them at work, try using a knife.
Lunch is more delicious at outside of the office
Get some fresh air during lunchtime . It will dramatically increase your productivity. Many people bring lunch from home, which is a great habit for saving money and spending less time for lunch. However, you don’t have to eat it at your desk. Check if your company has spaces that are allocated for eating and relaxing. If it doesn’t, search within a few blocks from your work to find a food court or a park. Eating at the desk may be very annoying for your office mates, especially if you like smelly foods or if you keep your mouth open while eating.
Keep your distance from chewing gum
I know that it’s tempting. You may need it to fight with stress or to keep your teeth clean when you don’t have a chance to brush. It’s understandable, but make sure to take it out after a reasonable time. If you’re chewing for half of the day, your office mates may notice the systematic noise from your desk and it may distract them.
Your love can wait until five o’clock
We want to keep in touch with our loved ones, which is a beautiful thing. Call him/her whenever you get a chance but don’t forget that you are paid to work, not to have personal calls. If you have personal calls for hours at work, it may cause your office mates to question your workload and integrity. I had a colleague a while ago — he was a quiet guy while he was single, but once he got engaged, he started spending half of the day on the phone through his Bluetooth headset. It’s distracting.
Don’t sleep (and if you do, don’t snore)
Yes, I had colleagues sleeping at work regularly. It’s normal for people to fall asleep when they are very tired but if someone falls asleep every day, it raises a red flag about that person’s work ethics.
Limit using slang
Writing “rite” instead of “right” won’t save hours from your schedule. Instead, it will make your emails and IMs difficult to read. Besides, it’s not professional. It is useful and understandable to use some acronyms such as “FYI” and “COB”. However, there is no good reason to write “u” instead of “you” or “k” instead of “okay”.
Meeting is for meeting
Meetings are not for eating. Try not to bring any food to a meeting room. You may have a very tight schedule and you may not have time for your lunch, but please note that it’s not other participants’ concern. It is disrespectful to eat while your colleagues are talking or when they are expecting you to talk.
Know your desk’s borders
You can be super messy and unorganized in your desk space — it’s your work area. However, make sure that your stuff doesn’t fly or move to your colleagues’ desk. This includes your chair and bag.
Reply to the questions in emails
If someone sends an email with questions, make sure to reply to them. Leaving an email unanswered is neither kind nor ethical. You are getting paid to read and reply to your work emails, not to ignore them.