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Workplace Etiquette

7 years ago by

Workplace Etiquette

Do you work in an office building?

There’s this funny thing about working in a communal atmosphere that makes you think twice about how you should go about doing day to day activities . Like :

1. Do you stop talking in the elevator? or continue your conversation (no matter how private)?
A. At the studio we never stop talking, no matter who comes in the elevator. BUT, half the industry is in the building so I suppose we should be more careful.

2. What do you do when you go into the bathroom and both stalls are occupied? Awkwardly wait or just as awkwardly leave and let the attendees hear the door shut?
A. I generally do the latter and leave and even more awkwardly stalk the bathroom from the office to see if someone left.

3. Are we supposed to say hello to everyone in the building?
A. Yes, of course, that’s nice isn’t it?!

4. Is it ok to brush your teeth in the bathroom?
A. I say no. Too personal, I barely know which office you came from.

5. Can you flirt with someone who works in the building? Like if there’s a really cute guy from the Saturday’s floor can you just go up there…
A. Not sure on this one, but the elevator opens up right to their office so pretty easy to walk right in. Just saying…

6. Should you reach over everyone to hit your floor in the elevator or just ask generally and hope someone pushes it?
A. I always get in first so I tend to hit my own button :)

7. When there’s a huge queue at the elevator terminals, should you bum rush into the first one that opens (even though you’re the one who was running late and technically the last one there)?
A. Be polite. Wait it out, the remaining people are probably less stressed and therefore a nicer elevator ride.

Ok so that’s just a few things, what do you think twice about in the workplace?


Add yours
  • Gosh! Such a minefield. I think workplaces would be better if everyone thought about avoiding things that make others uncomfortable – like avoiding smelly food at your desk, personal phone calls (step out in the hall), loud nose blowing (again, the hall), popping gum, slurping drinks, talking really loudly, leaving shoes out where folks can see them, walking around barefoot…..Basic civility people!
    We would all be happier if candy were not laying around everywhere also:-)
    Flirting with cute boys in the building – A B S O L U T E L Y. Go for it! Flirting is equal opportunity as long as it’s not in a potentially sexual harassment situation.

  • i have been a free lance translator/interpreter for the past 11 years. about 75% of my work takes place at home: i work in my pajamas, no make up and can work in a walk in the park. but i do put on make up and heels for the interpreter jobs, since they usually involve a live audience, conferences of tv appearances.


  • What companies are in your building? :) great post Brie!

  • I agree on most things you wrote. But then, i work in a research lab. Its very casual and to each his own. We have guys camping on the floor in sleeping bags. So i see all sorts of people do all sorts of things.

  • I totally agree with Cherie’s comment! As if you work in my office :)

  • When on the elevator with one person do you say “Good Morning” or Have a Good day” upon exiting? How about when it’s a group of people? I usually say Have a good Day when it’s just me and another person. But sometimes I run into the same person and a few more are on the same elevator and I never say anything. It just gets awkward to say “Hey everyone, have a good morning”. =) I will definitely try.

  • I could not stop smiling when I was reading it! So typical for my office building!

  • We do brushing teeth in my office. It’s hygienic and a must after lunch.

  • i do agree but that all depends on how close you are to other ppl in the building… one exception – i think brushing your teethe is totally ok at least if you do it discreetly :)

  • Is KS Saturday in your building? Cool – sounds like a great environment :)


  • I work in an office building, but we don’t have elevator.

  • Ha! Now I kind of wish I worked in an office. Working from home is very different. On that note, I try to be nice to people in the elevator because you never know who they could be!

  • Hi Garance,
    I don’t go to work yet, but I sometimes go to my mother’s workplace and I’ve made some observations. You made particularly good point about talking private in an elevator or any public area in general. Many times I heard people complaining about their boss or sharing details of their wild date nights… you know what I mean. First of all, you never know who is listening – it may be your boss’ coleague or someone in other way related to the people you are gossiping about. And secondly, I assume that someone may be just tired or not in the mood for listening to other people’s private issues. But if you’re talking about what you had for lunch etc. I think it’s okay to continue the conversation.

  • Super ! Perso on passe tellement de temps au boulot que autant s’y sentir chez soi, non ? (enfin pas trop non plus, pas le pyjama et le nutella hein !). Du coup, je fais attention mais je reste relax. Par contre, un truc ridficule mais que je ne peux pas controler : quand j’ai mon casques sur les oreilles et ma musique je ne peux pas m’empecher de danser ! Autant te dire que je suis une expert de la dance sur chaise ! :)


  • Come on! Brushing your teeth in a bathroom is fine. Loosen up.

  • Brushing your teeth after lunch is mandatory in Brazil.

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