Part one of my series on etiquette is inner office etiquette amongst your co-workers.

Over the years of working in corporate I’ve seen some things that justify a LOL, WTF, and SMDH moment. In fact it’s pretty well known by those close to me, that as I’ve gotten older my tolerance to these things has gotten a little thin. So when silliness happens I tend to point it out, or just embarrass it because I’ve been around for a while.

Here’s some things you shouldn’t do when in close quarters with your co-workers. It’s just not nice or polite.

Whistle or sing out loud

I like American Idol, and sometimes The Voice, but not while I’m busy coding several hundred lines of code for a plugin or website. So wear earphones and listen to your music all you want, but don’t wear earphones (especially noise canceling ones) and sing along to your favorite tunes out loud. Yes, I’ve seen this happen. It’s not considerate for those around you. If you are in your office, do it with the door closed, but better yet, just don’t do it at all. Since most office aren’t like your front door to your house. We can still hear you, and want to cut off our ears.

Blow your nose or repeatedly clear your throat loudly

I’m one of the folks that has upper respiratory allergies and in the fall, spring and most other seasons it’s brutal on my sinuses. It’s a price to pay for living in the Ohio Valley Area. But if you are a real noise maker when blowing your nose, excuse yourself to the restroom and blow and blow until the doors come down. But doing it at your desk in the cubical farm is distracting and if your neighbor are on the phone, there’s nothing they can say to the person on the other end of the call short of having an elephant in the office.

Organize your workspace

I know it’s said that a messy desk is a sign of genius, or rather a sign as to why your office has ants. Your workspace is yours, but if others have to go near it, don’t make them run to the hand sanitizer station after discussing the latest news, project or whatever you do that requires them at your desk. It’s just disgusting. Old empty soft drink cups or cans shouldn’t be on the desk from last week. And that coffee cup from last week that looks like an experiment now, should be cleaned and put away.

Don’t come to work if you’re sick

This should be self explanatory, but sadly I’ve worked with folks with the sniffles, and other things coming out of other areas. Please don’t feel obligated to show everyone how dedicated an employee you are, no one cares when you show up snotty and talk like you have a muzzle on your face. I don’t like being sick, and no one else does. It’s not a joke when we all shirk back from touching you. We just we really don’t want to to touch you.

Don’t wear revealing clothing

This should also cover office appropriate clothing as well. I get that many offices are lax today about dress standards, but last I checked showing to an interview wearing that Ironman Tee isn’t sending a good first impression. I’m all for self expression, but when it comes to helping the company earn a clients trust and gain an account, dress casual or at least wear a shirt with buttons.

As for revealing clothing, that’s more for the ladies, or unless you have that one guy that forgets to button the top 3 buttons on his shirt. It may make you feel and look sexy, but no one is listening to what you are saying or its content.

Be aware of how loud you are on the phone

I once worked at a place, in a cube farm, that had that one guy. Seated over 30 yards away he still could not control the VOLUME of his voice. Don’t be the Austin Powers of sales. We know that phones have a volume button, so use it. Also, go outside if your person on the other end of the call can’t hear you. Screaming on the phone (because that’s how it sounds to the rest of us) doesn’t make you the favorite in the office, or the first to find out about cake in the break room.

Put the phone down and on vibrate at meetings

Ah modern day technology is great right? Except when it sends a social message without using it. When you attend a meeting and set you phone on the table you are sending a message that what you are there for is not as important as to whom may text, tweet or snapchat you at any moment. When in a meeting, BE in the meeting. There’s a difference in listening and “actively” listening. Plus if you like your job, your boss might wanna know you’re not distracted and are paying attention.

That’s my list of office etiquette for this post. A first of a series on etiquette. Next I’ll be sharing about Social Media etiquette. I have no idea how many parts there will be for this series, so please comment and let know if you have any ideas.

Do you have any to add to the list or stories to share about co-workers that just didn’t get how to be polite or practice good etiquette in the work place? Please share and leave me a comment below or go to my Facebook page at