On a + note

New rules for the office

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on February 17, 2014

kitty#6Library land is changing quicker than ever and so is our corporate culture and work environment. So, how do new employees learn office etiquette?  I started thinking about this several weeks ago and so just for fun I came up with a list of do’s and don’ts….


►Your work space:  Don’t clutter it with personal stuff. A family photo or a plant is fine but twenty of your favorite stuffed animal, not so appropriate. Your work space is not a storage locker, there needs to be room to actually work not store files.

►Don’t eat at your desk…last night’s delicious curry may not be as appealing to your neighbour.

►Please don‘t come to work sick…REALLY. That’s why you have sick days. You are not doing anyone a favor by showing up, except perhaps your cat.

►Don’t immediately blame the IT Department for your computer not working. Do some basic checks yourself i.e. re-boot your computer and check for loose cables, then call IT

►There are 3 things that will waste more time that you could ever imagine… so avoid them like the plague!

  1. Change the type of coffee used in the staff room
  2. Take a coworkers parking spot
  3. Move or tidy a co-workers desk


Leaning a new corporate culture is tricky. I asked several friends who have moved around a lot their advice and unanimously they said watch what other staff do i.e. how do staff interact with each other, how noisy is the work room, where do they take their breaks, how do they respond to a complaint?

They also suggested:

►Always say Good Morning to co-workers, it is universally appropriate and if you are grumpy, you will feel better. On the flip side, if you are having a bad day, simply tell your co-workers, they will understand and appreciate the heads up. Of course donuts the next day can’t hurt!

►You can never overuse the words Please and Thank you.

►Please wash your hands lots.  If you work at a public desk or share a computer or phone …it’s essential.

►About emails:

  1. Be polite…you can’t take it back…..if in doubt, delete and start over
  2. Please respond to all emails, even if it’s just an OK or Thanks
  3. Be brief. If the issue is really complex pick up the phone!

►HR staff:  please respond ASAP to all questions from staff and job applicants. It is simply appropriate and demonstrates the library’s commitment to excellent internal and external customer service.

Library land is changing quicker than ever and so is the work place, but consideration for your co-workers will never go out of fashion.

Kitty Pope                                                                                             #7 February 2014


PS  If you have any other do’s or don’ts, I’d love to hear about them….kp


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