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Most office environments are a melting pot that bring together people with diverse backgrounds, distinct interests, and unique personalities. This can make for an interesting and sometimes unusual atmosphere, depending on the dynamics of everyone involved. Ideally, everyone on staff should aim to get along and play their part to encourage camaraderie and cohesion across the team. This doesn’t always happen, but there’s no reason you can’t do your best to avoid issues and keep things moving along on a positive note.
Even the best employees, however, might find themselves making occasional mistakes from time-to-time. Maybe you’re guilty of a few no-no, or maybe you’re a dream employee. Either way, here’s a look at what NOT to do at work if you want to stay on your boss’ good side and dodge any potential coworker snafus.
We’ve all had those occasional days at work where no amount of coffee can stave off that feeling of exhaustion. Lack of sleep can do funny things to people, but dozing off at your desk won’t win you any favors with coworkers who notice you’re sleeping on the job — literally. Best to start going to bed earlier on weeknights to give yourself some extra Zs before you hit the office.
A sniffle is one thing, but if you’re rocking the flu or something else seriously contagious, the worst thing you can do is come to work and spread it around the office. That’s a surefire way to make your team miserable.
Whether it’s unmarked food from the communal lunch fridge or personal items from someone’s desk, taking things in the office that aren’t yours is a bad idea. Even if you don’t think they’ll mind (i.e “I’m just borrowing it”), you never know if what you’re making off with is something they’ll need soon. Also, chances are they’re not going to be happy about it when they find out.
Everyone gets distracted sometimes. Still, there’s a time and a place to be tweeting out cat pics or checking your favorite dating app for new messages. We know wading into the online social stream is a constant temptation when you’re armed with a smartphone in your pocket, but save the social media time for off work hours or your lunch break. Plus, you never know if your boss reads your social media feed, right?
Self-restraint is a great quality to have in the workplace. Talking over other colleagues not only makes them feel undervalued, it also makes you look pretty bad. Keep cool and wait until there’s a break in the flow of chatter before you share your must-hear ideas.
Who doesn’t love to get up to speed on the latest juicy office gossip? Sure, it might be hard to unhear something scandalous in passing, but that doesn’t mean you should feel obliged to participate. Resist the urge to contribute to the gossip pool or spread potential misinformation about coworkers. Nobody likes being bantered about behind their back, and the truth tends to be distorted as it’s passed along the pipeline anyway.
When you’re having a really bad day and the pressure is building, finding a good way to vent can be tricky. For some folks, talking it out or stepping back from a volatile work situation is the best way to avoid a total meltdown. Others, however, tend to blow their stack when they reach the breaking point. Whatever you do, don’t lose it and explode in front of people, and definitely don’t storm out of the office in a fit if you’re freaking out.