Office Space Etiquette

As some of us get to return to the office after a year of Covid lockdowns, I thought this blog needed resurfacing!

It seems like this is a blog for kindergartens but I have come across some poor office etiquette in my career. Imagine it, a grown man chewing food like cow during a working meeting or a sassy intern chewing gum through an important client meeting, it’s horrifying! I have no patience for many actions and I wanted to share with you.  I hope you don’t encounter any of these and if you do, be sure to share!


deskDo not talk on speakerphone – just pick up the phone, people next to you don’t need to hear your whole conversation!  Speakerphone calls are only acceptable when you are with a group of people in a conference room or in an office.

Please don’t take or make personal calls no one else needs (or wants) to hear, Co-workers don’t want to hear about your daughter’s wedding or doctor’s appointments while they are working.

Don’t play music or watch videos with the sound on, it is disturbing for everyone. It’s best to mute your computer or use a headset.

Keep your phone and computer notifications on silent!  When a co-worker hears your phone ring, they loose their “zone”.  They say it takes about 23 minutes to focus once you are distracted from the task at hand. Not only does your phone or text message notification make you lose valuable time, it makes those around you do the same!

Being close to co-workers is great, however, if you need to talk to someone in another cubicle or office get up and walk, message or call the person. Please don’t yell through the wall or over the cubicle to get their attention. Your message may end up distorted and you are sure to disturb everyone else.

Bad manners in an office include smacking gum, chewing food with mouth open, slurping your drink and talking with one’s food in their mouth. There have been times when I have actually left an office to avoid the noise!!!

office pic


Stinky food at your desk should be avoided.  Be mindful of any food with strong odors, if your choice is somewhat strong, be sure to go to the company break room to eat!

Be mindful of any fragrance – cologne, make-up or essential oils diffusing.  Be sure to ask your co-workers if you are diffusing oils to ensure they aren’t allergic. Scented candles should also be avoided.

Throw your trash away properly; food never goes in an office trashcan so take it to the break room!

While looking for articles to reference about sharing an office, I found this one from Inc.com and it’s pretty good! https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/25-things-you-should-never-do-at-work.html

This infographic for shared office space is pretty spot on as well: https://theworkloft.com/blog/10-shared-office-space-etiquette-rules-coworking-infographic

What drives you crazy about your office mates’ etiquette?

What do you need to work on so your office mates don’t think of you while reading this?

I certainly am not the best at sharing an office and to be honest, my office mate is ready to kick me out soon!  We all can improve and as my 9 year old says, there is always room to get better!

What are you going to work on before headed back to the office?

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