5 unspoken office rules.

When you spend more time at work than you do at home, you want work to be somewhere that you are happy. Most people dedicate at least 40 hours of their life to work a week, and for those who are lucky enough to get eight hours of sleep a night, it adds up that you spend about 44% of your waking life at work.

How do you want to spend that 44%? Here are five unspoken rules on what not to do in the workplace, to keep it a happy workplace: 

  • Food
  • Meetings 
  • Gossip
  • Loudness
  • Interruptions 

Some foods are just not okay to eat at your desk

Whether you work in your own office or a open space, there's the unspoken rule of what you can and can't eat at your desk. Do you really want to be known as the “fish guy”. Sometimes we can all be pushed for time and need to eat at the desk. Try and be polite by avoiding foods which might smell a little on the strong side. Fish and leftover curry from the evening before might be worth taking to the kitchen. Moving away from your desk is also a good thing health-wise, it gives you a brain break and sitting at your desk for long periods of time could cause a lot of health issues including back pain, leg disorders, and increased risk of heart disease.

Scheduling a meeting for the sake of having a meeting

Before you press 'send' on that calendar invite, ask yourself, 'do you really need to meet to discuss this or can I pop it in an email?' Time is money and people are usually pretty busy. The average office worker spends 10 hours and 42 minutes every week, preparing for and attending 4.4 meetings, with 2.6 of those deemed unnecessary. Keeping ‘time is money’ in mind, annual staff costs for unnecessary meetings per business of £35,395.36, based on ONS average earnings data. With 5.4 million businesses in the UK, this means the total staff cost per year of unnecessary meetings is more than £191 billion.

Don't be the office 'Gossip Girl' 

We all grew up with the phrase, 'if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' and it's the one that you should live and breathe in the workplace. We know it's tempting but, it'll never make you look good.One in five workers have left their job because of bullying and yes, gossiping does come under bullying. Any issues you see arising, speak to management and keep it professional. 

Just generally being loud

Let's be real, just from the title you've already pictured the person who can type, talk, sing, laugh or chew really really loudly and if you can't pictured anyone, then it could well be you! Your colleagues are trying to work. A survey conducted by Samsung, suggests that distractions caused by colleagues led to workers losing 22 minutes each day on average. It’s great to work within a friendly atmosphere, but when it’s time to get to work, get your head down.

”Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you and I’ma let you finish but…”

Dealing with someone who keeps cutting you off mid-sentence is never easy, especially not in the workplace. The Harvard Business Review even published a guide on how to handle it, it’s that serious. There could be reasons why some are prone to doing it, however just remain polite and professional and you can’t go wrong. 

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