How One Colgate Commercial Can Help Improve the Workplace
This year, one of the most popular commercials from the Big Game was the Colgate commercial starring Luke Wilson. The premise of the commercial is that Luke Wilson’s character tried Colgate’s next generation of Colgate Total, so, in his mind, that gave him permission to talk closely to each of his coworkers. It was entertaining to watch because most of us can relate to having that one coworker that is a bit too friendly, but the ad did bring up a good point regarding the downsides of office culture.
Working in an office is great and all, but etiquette in the workplace leaves a lot to be desired across all industries. There are countless stories we read and hear every day about people stealing lunches or being passive-aggressive toward their coworkers. We accept these as being the norm, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s estimated that Americans will spend an average of 13 years (in minutes) at work in their lifetime, and that means that you will likely encounter many office indiscretions that will rub you the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to rethink the faux pas we commit on a day-to-day basis when we’re at the office. Here are 4 of the most common office etiquette mistakes people make and how we can go about reforming them quickly to create a happy and healthier office culture.
Speaking Loudly in a Common Space
Because we spend so much time at work, it’s natural to create friendships with your colleagues. You’ll make abundant conversation, create inside jokes, and maybe have the occasional vent session in open areas. But unless everyone is in on the conversation, it can cause huge disruption to your other teammates. That’s not to say that you can’t have any open conversation on the work floor, but be sure to keep it to a minimum or take it to a place where you won’t be distracting.
Eating Smelly or Messy Foods
Having lunch away from your desk can seem impossible some days and it’s easy to simply work through your lunch hour and eat between tasks. It’s generally fine to do this, but when you have food that’s particularly messy or smelly, it can be a huge distraction to the people who work around you. Just remember that you might like your meal, but your coworkers might not, so it’s best to stick to that rule of thumb. You might want to think twice when bringing in your leftover fish for lunch.
Going to Work Sick
No matter what time of year it is, people are hypervigilant when trying not to get themselves, or anyone else, sick. But no matter what, it always happens – someone comes into the office with “a bit of a cough” and then people start dropping like flies due to a new office plague. No one likes being sick in general, but if the illness is bad enough, it can eat into productivity and those all-important sick days that they might be saving up. So, if you feel sick, just do everyone a favor and stay home until you are healthy enough to go into the office. Your coworkers will thank you.
Consistently Showing Up Late to Meetings
We’ve all known someone on our team that shows up late to work and meetings, delivering hushed excuses of why they are late. Running late is something that happens to all of us, but someone who is constantly behind schedule be considered unreliable and a distraction. If you find yourself running late, make sure you let your teammates know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly. And, before it gets to that point, try to allot ten minutes before every meeting to account for transportation.
Being courteous in the office (and in general!) is important when ensuring that the people around you are happy and comfortable. We hope you learned a thing or two from our list above. What are some of your least favorite office faux pas? Let us know in the comments below!