Respect and what it means to your coworkers

For the next 7 days we are going to be giving you best practice tips and advice during our ”How to get along with coworkers” series. During the series we will be posting real life stories from employers, employees and pearls of wisdom from industry leaders. If you have a very specific topic, question or problem you would like us to add to the series, send us a PM! Stay tuned – your office etiquette is about to get a make over!

Today’s topic comes as one that is quite a touchy subject. Respecting your coworkers. You may think you are already doing a wonderful job of doing this, and perhaps you really are. Aretha Frankin would be proud of you! However there are some coworkers (yes, the one that just popped into your head reading that) who do not know what respect is, and what it means to you. Perhaps they were born in a bad mood, or raised in a barn, or quite simply, really don’t care about what respect means to you, your coworkers, or Aretha.

What does respect mean to… all of us? Not this…

How can we avoid offending the people we work with? It seems as if it should be blatantly obvious. But if it were, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Let’s take a look now at things you could do that may offend your coworkers. They aren’t listed in any particular order.

  • Having loud telephone conversations that distract or annoy others in the workplace
  • Not cleaning up after yourself in the staff kitchen
  • Taking food that doesn’t belong to you from the staff refrigerator (SERIOUSLY?!?!)
  • Showing up late for meetings
  • Showing up for meetings unprepared
  • Looking at a coworker’s computer screen over his or her shoulder
  • Taking supplies from a coworker’s desk without asking
  • Spreading gossip around the office
  • Coming to work sick
  • Not minding your manners, for example neglecting to say please and thank you
  • Wearing too much perfume
  • Chewing gum loudly
  • Taking the last of something without replacing it
  • Asking someone to lie or cover for you
  • Blaming someone else when you are at fault instead of accepting responsibility for a mistake
  • Being the office tattletale
  • Taking credit for someone else’s work or not sharing credit with others who helped on a project
  • Asking a subordinate to do something unrelated to work, i.e. run errands
  • Trying to convert others to your political or religious beliefs
  • Opening anyone else’s mail without their permission
  • Sending unwanted email such as chain letters, petitions and jokes to coworkers
  • Telling offensive, dirty or insensitive jokes
  • Smoking in common areas
  • Not sharing the workload
  • Bringing negativity into the workplace, for example incessantly complaining about the company, boss or coworkers
  • Being a know-it-all and having a condescending attitude toward others

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