The UKs 10 most irritating office habits

In a recent UK survey, employees were asked to list what the most irritating habits of their co-workers were, while some of the findings might surprise you, are there any of them that you are guilty of?

In reverse order…

10. Wearing the same clothes – what does this say to your bosses? could you be giving the impression that you don’t care about your appearance?

9. Cooking smelly foods – be mindful of what you bring in to the office to microwave, fish and eggs not being the best choice for lunch!

8. Smelling of cigarettes – if you do smoke – why not pop a mint in after having a cigarette break.

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7. Talking loudly on the phone – you could take calls in a meeting room or corridor, or lower your voice if you need to stay at your desk.

6. Staying in the toilet too long – don’t be seen a time waster, only go to the loo when you really need too!

5. Interrupting when people are speaking – implement the ’10 second rule’, listen and wait before you speak.

4. Messy desks – keep your work area clutter-free – get a desk organiser, filing tray…anything that helps you get organised.

3. Not washing up – don’t expect somebody else to do it for you,  it should go without saying that you do your own washing up.

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2. Ignoring emails – this is unprofessional, if you’re overwhelmed by the amount of emails you receive, allocate a particular time each day to deal with your inbox instead of dipping in and out and not actually achieving anything.

1. Offensive body odour – top of the list and this is a difficult one to deal with, as you might not notice it yourself, but wearing clean clothes and showering daily will help.

Can you think of any other annoying habits that weren’t listed, we’d love to hear them, why not comment below?

If you need any HR advice or guidance, please get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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A guide to good office etiquette

Whether you’re straight out of school, University, moved to the UK from abroad or simply not sure about what to do or say in an office environment, we have compiled a little guide of office do’s and don’ts. Hopefully these tips will help you make a good impression:

Do always assume people are listening

Even if you are talking to someone that you feel very comfortable with, can you be sure that nobody else is listening in? You may accidentally offend someone or say something that gets repeated to the wrong person and the same applies to online activity – don’t ever talk negatively about colleagues or your employer on social media or your blog. Remember, whatever you post can and probably will come back to haunt you.

Discuss your salary

In the workplace it all begins and ends with money and there’s a distinct possibility that you won’t be earning the same salary as someone else.

NEVER discuss how much you’re paid.  It’s not respectful to discuss how much you’re earning and you don’t want to offend anyone that’s being paid less than you.

Be careful who you address your emails too

Ok we’ve probably all done it, written a text/email about someone, then accidentally sent it straight to them instead of the intended recipient? The same applies in the office, be careful who you address your emails too, also when replying to all ask yourself if everyone on the list needs to receive the email and always check before you press send!

Offer to make drinks for everyone

It’s polite to ask everyone if they’d like a drink, however, this can lead to a long list of beverages that you’ll need to make. You’ll have to remember who likes milk, who wants sugar who drinks tea and who has coffee – have a notepad handy!

A good idea is to suggest that everyone write their preferred beverage on a notice board by the kettle, so that you only need to remember who’s ready for their next hot drink. And if you decide not to make drinks for everyone, make sure that you never accept the offer when it’s someone else’s turn!

No smoking

Smoking indoors has been illegal since 2007, but using e-cigarettes, or ‘vaping’, is allowed in public places. Most workplaces will have their own rules about electronic cigarettes, but even if yours doesn’t mention them specifically, it’s wise to go outside for your vaping. Many people simply aren’t comfortable with having e-cigarettes used in their presence and the verdict is still out on any potential health risks too.

Don’t change the temperature without asking

In reality it is likely you’ll be sharing an office with a few other people, some of whom will wish they worked in the Sahara or the Arctic!  Don’t upset anyone by opening a window without asking, or making unscheduled changes to the air conditioning settings.

Turn up to work with layers of clothing to cover every eventuality, just in case someone else makes a change that you don’t want to openly complain about.

Do mind your language

Swearing in the office is simply unacceptable, remember using bad language could lead to warnings and/or disciplinary action.

What not to eat at your desk

Fish products are a no-no in the office environment, along with eggs, fast food and stinky cheese… you get the picture… Remember you don’t want to risk your business relationship with someone over bad food choices, if in doubt about a specific food, leave it at home and opt for something you are sure won’t offend others.

Don’t take an extended lunch break

Most offices are strict on time-keeping, which means they’ll notice if you turn up a bit late, leave a bit early or take a few extra minutes on your lunch break. Your manager might also be adding up the minutes, with a very clear picture of how many hours you miss each year.

In the end it all comes down to common sense, remember being comfortable at work is great, but you should still think carefully about everything you say and do.

If you need help or guidance with office etiquette please do get in touch, HR Revolution are here to help: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Valentine’s Day; Office do’s and don’ts

It’s Valentines Day… the day where most of us are filled with thoughts of love and romance!?  However it can be a somewhat tedious process for HR… can employers have rules on personal relationships at work? Is it harassment for a worker to ask a colleague out on a date? In today’s business world, dating someone at work is not at all uncommon so here is a list of office do’s and don’ts.

Studies show that after online dating, the workplace is the second biggest place where people meet their significant others. It makes a lot of sense, you are sharing the same space for eight or more hours a day with people who tend to be like-minded and share similar life goals.

Also, the everyday stresses of work life tend to be an easy thing to relate and bond with an individual over. While it can be a great thing, office romances can also cause a lot of undesirable stress and tension. Surely, ending an office relationship can be uncomfortable for both parties, since they  have no choice but to continue to see each other every day, despite the fact that the relationship has dissolved.

DO:

Know Your Company’s Policy

Every company tends to have a bit of a different policy when it comes to dating among colleagues. There isn’t one golden rule, so if you’re thinking about asking someone from work out, it might be best to make sure right away that you know where your company stands on this issue.

There are some businesses that make it a requirement for you to come forth with the relationship and let your higher-ups know about it. Others don’t. Romance is an important part of life, but you shouldn’t allow it to negatively affect your career in any way. So do the research and check out your company’s policy before you set the ball rolling.

Try to Keep it a Secret

Even if the company requires that you tell the bosses about the relationship, you shouldn’t have to tell everyone. One of the best reasons for keeping it a secret is that it can be fun. Having a special relationship with someone while keeping it hidden from plain sight at work can be thrilling and fun for both of you… so long as it doesn’t affect your work!

You will need to avoid public displays of affection at work whatever you decide. Even if you do decide to tell coworkers about the relationship, you should still resist the PDA. The only thing it can lead to is making your other colleagues feel uncomfortable around you.

Take it Seriously

No matter how much you want it to be, an office romance is unlike any other romance. It comes with its own rules, and it’s something that you should take very seriously, not only to help make it a successful relationship, but to avoid issues if the relationship does end up going sour in the end.

The truth of the matter is that a workplace romance has the potential to impact many more people than a regular romance, whether it lasts or ends. And if the relationship does end, try to be as professional about it as possible. It might be incredibly hard to do, but making sure that no negativity enters the workplace as a result is something you need to do. It doesn’t only affect the two of you, it can affect coworkers and clients as well.

DON’T:

Parade it

This has already been mentioned, but it should be reiterated, public displays of affection at work should be absolutely forbidden. No one in the office wants to see that, no matter how relaxed they seem about your relationship. It is something that has no place in the office; this includes not only kissing, but also hugging, hand-holding, and even winking and sending kisses to each other across the office.

These rules should not only apply to work hours, but to all work-related functions, including holiday parties and even trips to the bar with colleagues after work.

It’s also important not to let the relationship affect other relationships you have around the office. If you’ve been going to lunch with the same group of people all year, don’t suddenly abandon them because you all of a sudden only have eyes for your office flame.

Let it Affect Your Work

It’s important not to change the person and employee you are when your partner is present. This could make things really weird in meetings and when working with a group of people in which your partner is included. Be sure not to treat that person any differently than before… remain professional at all times.

If your partner has an idea which you don’t agree with, say something. Don’t let it slide just because of your relationship, things should be the same way they were before you became an item.

Discuss it with Coworkers

Your coworkers are probably going to want to hear the juicy details about your relationship, but you must not give them any. Feeding the office gossip machine is the worst thing that you can possibly do for your relationship and your job.

Discussions of your relationship have no place in the office, no matter how bad you’d like to talk about it. You must remember that you are not the only person affected by what is said.

Conclusion

An office romance can be very rewarding. The workplace is a great place to meet someone who you might be able to connect with romantically on a long-term basis. Just be smart about it and try to keep your romantic life and your business life as separate as possible in these circumstances.

If you need any further advice or guidance give us a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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3 ways to deal with “constructive” criticism…

When someone in your team chooses to give you some “constructive” criticism, if you are anything like me, it may lead to you going into a little bit of a strop and being overly defensive. Of course this in turn is not constructive at all (nor is the criticism to start with I know …) but it then leads to an unnecessary ‘heated’ discussion which whether you are right or wrong is NOT productive, not to mention it completely saps your energy!

Before acting hastily, stop and take the time to think about what is actually being said. Perhaps the person saying it is not all that articulate or being unintentionally patronising and if spun into your own language, would it be as bad as you first thought? Besides, this little bit of extra thinking time will calm you down and you can prepare your response appropriately in one of the following ways:

  1. Don’t dismiss it – be succinct and explain why things are as they are, from your perspective, but take into consideration what they have said and plan it into your future actions.
  2. Agree with them – OK so this is easier said than done, especially when you are still seething inside because you really think you are right (but are you?). Maybe spin it just a little, for example say “I agree, and if we had all the time in the world on this project I would certainly do as you say, unfortunately we need to stick to the client deadlines”. The message is clear you understand what is being said but will still do things your way.

WARNING: don’t forget it is never a bad thing to heed advice, structure it in to your chosen path, remember you only “think” you’re right.

  1. Explain the options – Calmly talk through your plan and then theirs, highlighting the potential outcome of both (remember do not be patronising!). This shows acknowledgement of what has been said, yet gives them the responsibility to decide the final decision. Will they want that or will they agree with you?

Always remember why you got agitated in the first place.  Was it the criticism, was it the tone in which it was said, or perhaps you just needed a coffee?

Your reaction will define the situation.  Do not be patronising in your tone, be reasonable, don’t throw back criticism at them for the sake of it and the biggest thing to remember when using any of the above three points, you might, just might, be WRONG!  If that is the case, it won’t hurt you to just admit it and agree to rectify the situation.  Admitting someone else is right will earn you respect and next time they may just go a bit easier on you!

If this sounds all too familiar, we’ve added a link below to our Guide to Effective Communication, or perhaps if there are other issues at play, our Guide to Stress Management.  Both are FREE to download…  what are you waiting for!

If you’d prefer to talk to someone, give us a call on 0203 538 5311 and let us help.