Rachel Paige
October 08, 2014 3:51 pm

Nowadays, offices come in all shapes and sizes. Some people work in tiny cubicles at the top of tall buildings, others work off a slew of laptops in a Starbucks.. It doesn’t matter where you work, as long as you work well with others. Obviously, being nice and respectful are the foundation of being a cool person to work with. But if you really want to shine in the office, there are some modern-day etiquette rules you might want to follow. Sprinkle that conscientiousness with a little extra goodwill and you’re on way to being the office star. Here are the basics to becoming THAT awesome person everyone’s psyched to see in the morning.

Don’t eat anything smelly

Sorry, you just have to hold off on the stinky cheese or fish until you get home, unless you want to fend off many a side-eye. This is an ongoing epidemic among workplaces. Far too many lunch breaks are ruined because someone has decided that it is perfectly cool and acceptable to eat tuna fish right out of the can in the middle of the tiny break room. There is no scenario wherein this is acceptable. I understand that you might really like tuna fish, but maybe the others around you do not.

Don’t be a music tyrant

At my old office, all fifteen of us had to agree on what to listen to if we were going to listen to the radio. Do you know how hard it is to get fifteen different people to agree on one radio station? It’s next to impossible. We’d agree on it for like, maybe ten minutes, and then some song would come on, and someone would groan, and we’d lose our music privileges. Remember how in elementary school you used to take turns picking which book to read at story time? Apply that same practice here—everyone can have a turn choosing the radio station. If you’re someone who’s got your own little cubby, it’s perfectly fine to play some music, but please do so softly. Remember your neighbors might not find Weird Al as hilarious as you do.

Steer clear of office gossip

The proverbial water cooler is the best place to hang out with friends, but don’t spend the time talking about who did what at the last company outing. There’s a time and a place for that, and it’s not inside of the office. On the same note, never EVER, tweet about work related issues, or Facebook about them, or Instagram insane things that you find in the supply closet, and don’t blog about it either, especially if your company has a very strong online presence and will immediately see what you’re saying.

Show up for work on time

Wait a second, isn’t this something you should do to, you know, keep your job on a daily basis? Yes, but it’s also something you should do to keep your co-workers happy as well. Think about it like this, if you show up late, even just five minutes, on a regular basis, slowly others are going to realize. Maybe your boss will realize, and start divvying your work among others. . .who will not be happy at all. Showing up for work on time, and following through with your responsibilities keeps everyone happy.

BYOBC

Bring Your Own Birthday Cake. Don’t expect others to supply the baked goods just because it’s your special day. Also don’t awkwardly ask anyone to bring you cake, either. Bringing your own baked goods for your birthday is not only beneficial for everyone, and sweet of you to consider others on your day, it might just start a trend where everyone brings cake for their own birthday.  Suddenly there might be lots and lots of cake every single week and that’s the best work environment ever.

Take your sick days when you’re sick

Being sick is one of the worst things, and it only makes it worse by going to work. For one, you’re at work and you’re sick so there’s a very high chance that you’re miserable, and two, everyone else will avoid you like the literal plague. No one will want to sit near you in the conference room, or take a phone call right after you’ve put down the receiver. There might be Purell for days, but that’s still not enough to keep the cold away. Just stay home. For real.

Always return borrowed office supplies

There’s no need for you to run out and buy a label maker to label everything in your cubicle, but just be courteous when others borrow things of yours, and show them the same respect in return. Even if you might not remember that one time you borrowed the stapler and forgot to give it back, everyone else does.

Just say no to spam

Repeat after me: I will not forward that funny email. I will not forward that funny video that maybe only three other people in the office will get. I will not try to sell the office my slightly used IKEA furniture. I will only email the entire office if I am in dire need of a report or an approval for something I can’t obtain myself. I will not spam the entire office with random personal emails. I promise.

Don’t talk about leaving

You might go into work every single day realizing that you are at a complete dead-end job, and it’s okay to plan to leave in the future.. However, this doesn’t mean you should go around the office, telling anyone who will listen that you plan to stand up on your desk and yell “I QUIT” next Friday. You don’t have to stay at your job forever, but it’s in bad taste to tell others how much you want to leave. It kind of brings morale down. Also, word will probably get around to your boss eventually, and they’re the ones who’ll be giving you the recommendation for wherever you go next.

Always, always, always share snacks

You can pretty much forget everything else on this list, and just be that snack person and you’ll win at office politics. There is no better way to ascend to instant office superstar than by bringing in snacks. for everyone to share on the job. Maybe you’re the person who leaves out a bowl of candy for people on your desk, or maybe you bring in home-baked cookies once a week (though that sounds labor intensive), or maybe you just offer a handful of that popcorn you’re munching on to the person who’s eyeing it obsessively. Whichever way you want to go is the right way. Despite how civilized your office environment feels, when you break out the shared snacks people resort to kid logic. They start seeing you as the purveyor of delicious food things and they will love you for it.

Images via here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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