Manners and Why They Matter at Work


Etiquette: does the word make you wince? Does it conjure up a long list of do’s and don’t’s that you were told over and over as a kid? And so many of them didn’t make sense at the time. WHY can’t I put my elbows on the dinner table? What the heck is an Inside Voice? 


I used to roll my eyes when my parents called me out. But as I matured, I realized that these guidelines all center around valuing others and being considerate of them. And in today’s Open Office environment this is more true than ever.


As I prepared for writing this blog entry, I researched what has already been said about office etiquette, trying to narrow down those rules that I thought had the most value and should be emphasized. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that office etiquette is very easy to sum up. A long list of rules is not necessary. Here is the SideMark office etiquette policy. Be considerate of others.  There. Done.


If you do that, I think it answers most questions. 

·      I have to make a phone call, should I just take it at my desk?

·      I want to play music at my desk, should I wear my ear buds?

·      That person is driving me insane, why not complain to 10 other people about him?

·      I’m going to be away from me desk for an hour. Should I tell anyone?

·      Have I given my team a reasonable amount of time to do the project?

·      Have I communicated well, or is the confusion my fault?

·      I wonder if it’s okay to eat kidney and onions at my desk?

Okay, I am kidding about the last one…..sort of. If you continually are considerate of others and value them as much as yourself, all those questions become very easy to answer. And it is so fun to watch people respond to thoughtfulness and good communication. If you want to amp up your company culture almost overnight, give this a try!

And the beef and kidney thing? Not on my watch!

- Sandi Jacobs