Can you wear a sexy tank top to work?
Is it OK to invite your boyfriend over for lunch at the office?
Is it OK to call your mom every 2 hours while you are at work?
Should you send a romantic email to your colleague/boss/secretary?
There are many questions about “etiquette” in a work environment. While some organizations are extremely strict and guarded about the expected conduct of employees, yet there are setups that allow employees to be casually themselves. But, there is an unwritten code of conduct for behavior at work. There are no rules, but almost everywhere you will find use of the term “appropriate work behavior”.
What Is Appropriate Work Behavior?
• Display Good Manners: Like any other social setup, work environment also needs you to display good manners. Being rude, impolite or curt to your colleagues is not liked. The good thing about being well mannered is that you can expect a good appraisal from all quarters at the year end.
• Tolerance: In most organizations, people from different cultural backgrounds come together to form a vibrant mix. But if you are intolerant of others, you are not likely to remain in this mix for long. So you should try to gel in and accept people from different backgrounds.
• Emotional Outbursts: Weeping, screaming, violence and other emotional outbursts are frowned upon in an office setup. You have been hired to do a job, without bringing in the baggage of your emotions. So never allow your emotions to prevail over your good sense.
• Sexual Behavior: Making sexist or sexual comments or jokes is a very serious issue. If you are being sexually harassed, do not omit to lodge a complaint. Women’s Rights Organizations are there to help you. Do not ignore such a matter.
• Dressing Up: Since work setting is a little formal, it is best to keep your attire formal. Do NOT try to be sexy at work. So plunging necklines and revealing clothes are a complete No No!
• Back Talking/Gossiping: Most employees do like to gossip or bitch about their bosses and colleagues. But this can have serious repercussions. Many of your “friends” do go and report every word you say. Is the gossip really worth the risk of losing your job?
• Romantic Associations: Many people do fall in love with colleagues at work. But companies do not look favorably towards such liaisons. Avoid work romance as far as possible. But if you do have strong feelings for a colleague, you may want to consider switching your job. Or you could ask him/her to switch. Often companies have a rule that couples cannot be employed. So leave before you are asked to leave.
In our next article in this series, we will discuss the “inappropriate behaviors” at work. Do keep coming back to Memsaab to read interesting and insightful articles, updated every day.