With many clients going through workspace transformations, we’re frequently asked about workplace etiquette guidelines. As with any change, a new workspace – often with greater openness – requires some conscious adjustment.
While each company, culture and space is different, below are a few tips to help champion good etiquette in the workplace.
REDUCING DISTRACTION: Most complaints about the open office center on noise and distractions since sound carries so easily. The office noise etiquette tips below can help to reduce noise:
- Remember to modulate your voice and not use speaker phones
- If noise bothers you, utilize headphones when appropriate
- Take advantage of meetings rooms for conference calls
KEEPING THE SPACE VISUALLY CLEAN: The new openness of a space provides a clean, open visual and keeping it that way is up to each employee.
- Chairs are for people – hang up coats in shared coat closets
- Go digital – archive files on your computer to cut down on paper and piles
- Personalize your space, with restraint – a small picture or two in a simple frame is “just right”
- Keep horizons and glass clear – nothing on top of overheads or panels or pasted to walls or glass
- Do a “quick and tidy” before you go for the day
ODOR CONTROL: The smell of cologne, perfume or even flowers can bother co-workers with sensitivities to smells. Odor control needs to be reinforced with clear guidelines.
- Use perfume and cologne with discretion
- It’s distracting for co-workers to smell your lunch. Please limit food with strong odors like fish, popcorn, etc.
- Please use the kitchen, café, breakroom areas to prepare and eat food
- Do not put trash from your lunch in your workstation wastebasket
SHARED SPACES: Open workspaces are susceptible to looking cluttered when employees leave their materials out and about. With customers and vendors visiting the space it can also create a security issue.
- Leave shared activity and meeting spaces ready for action – turn off AV, clean off white boards, toss trash and food, remove materials and push chairs back into place
- The furniture is moveable, but if moved please make sure it gets returned to its designated spot
- Everyone loves a good celebration, but hold away from focused areas and remember to tidy up afterwards
SUPPORTING COLLABORATION: Much of our work depends on connecting with colleagues both formally and informally. A few ideas:
- Move conversations away from focused work settings
- Hold impromptu small group meetings in open plan activity spaces or breakrooms
- Reserve team activity spaces for large or longer meetings
- Reserve enclave, refuge rooms or private offices for extended conference calls or one-on-one conversations
If you’d like us to create a custom etiquette guide for your company, reach out to your sales consultant or call 401.683.3150 and we can get to work.