Office etiquette – the do’s and don’ts of office behaviour

Jun 1, 2017

You’ve secured your first job after uni life, and of course, you want to make the best impression possible. Unfortunately, there are numerous habits that could get you on the wrong side of your co-workers, but don’t panic we are here to help. Here is our guide to office etiquette…follow our top tips and you’ll be everyone’s best friend.


Loud Food

From experience, there is nothing more annoying than a co-worker munching away on loud food when you’re trying to concentrate. In a recent survey, 57% of workers revealed that noisy eaters were the most annoying workplace offenders. So, if crunchy food is on the menu, maybe wait until your break and eat in the staff room or eating area.

Smelly Food

Similarly to noisy eaters, smelly food can get peoples backs up. There is nothing worse than the smell of fish lingering the office when you’re trying to concentrate. Again, wait until lunch for your salmon salad or last night’s takeaway leftovers, your colleagues will thank you for it!


You’re not at uni anymore so it’s time to put that potty mouth to rest. No one wants to be hearing expletives in the work place, especially when they may be on the phone to important clients. Remember you are representing your company, always put your best self forward.

Don’t take people’s things without asking

If you need something ask! Don’t take people’s stationary without asking – no one wants to be chasing you round the office trying to track down their run-away stapler.

Don’t be late

Every now and again we all experiences issues that may make us late. However, I’m talking once in a blue moon, being repeatedly late is not only going to reflect badly on yourself and your work ethic but it’s going to get your colleagues backs up. If they can get in on time each day, then why can’t you? Make sure you know your route to work and any traffic hot spots, that way you can anticipate how long your journey will take you and make it to the office in plenty of time.

Office gossip

As tempting as it may be to find out what office romances are going on, it’s best to stay well clear. After all, if the shoe was on the other foot, would you want to be the talk of the office?



A sure-fire way to make friends is to step up and get involved in the tea round. You’d be surprised how often tea talk pops up throughout the day. Accept a tea or coffee if someone offers you one, but make sure you get a round in yourself later that day.

Arrive early

If you start at 8.30am that means you begin work at that time. Arrive 5/10 minutes early to make sure you are settled and ready to get stuck in as soon as the clock hits 8.30.

Make conversation

Get involved in office chat…within reason. You’ll be spending a lot of your time with these people, so it’ll make it a lot more enjoyable for everyone if you all get on.

Bring in goodies

There’s nothing that excites an office more than sweet treats – favourites being krispy kreme donuts, birthday cake and haribo. Now I’m not by any means saying win your colleagues over by buying them food, but if it’s your birthday bring in the left-over cake, if you’re buying yourself haribo then offer these round the office. Everyone else will be sure to return the favour.

Ask for help

In your first few weeks of a job you will not be expected to know everything straight away. Be confident and ask for help when needed, it’s better to hold your hands up and learn then sit there quietly making mistakes.

Clean up after yourself

Gone are the days of uni accommodation and a piled up sink full of unwashed dishes. Make an effort to clean up after yourself – if you use it wash it, if you spill it clean it! No one wants to be nagging constantly about the mess, so keeping on top of it equals a happy office.

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