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  Office Etiquette - office etiquette

Rainy season is perhaps the most awaited season of the year. But, as with all good, there is some hint of bad attached to monsoon, too. Yes, it comes with its share of unhygienic practices, muck and filth. And, more often than not, it's the people who are to be blamed for taking away the magic out of monsoon. One place, we certainly see this mess is the workplace bathroom. There, don't just cringe...but follow these simple rules and do your act to keep the monsoon magic alive:

1. Spare's the word
If it's monsoons, pack a bag of spare clothes, socks and shoes and all other essentials for the office. Don't you hate walking into the office bathroom only to find it all wet and murky? Well, if everyone carried a spare, no one would have to worry about washing off the muck from their shoes or clothes in the office. Besides, a spare bag of clothes will always keep you prepared for that unforeseen shower.

2. Waterproof your way
Isn't it annoying to find a sea of umbrellas or clothes being dried in the tiny office bathroom space? Carrying an extra plastic or waterproof bag for your wet clothes and umbrellas will prevent you from doing the same. If you must leave your umbrella or clothes to dry out, ensure that you don't leave it for the entire day, pack it up after its semi-dry. This way you will not be using the area for long, and your clothes and umbrella will not be left with a stuffy wet smell. But, to follow this rule successfully, set a reminder on your phone, so that you collect your clothes on time

3. Clean up the mess
We all know that reaching office in an absolute spick and dry state during monsoon is not always possible. So, it's okay to wash and clean away the muck and dirt from your feet or body. But, after you are done, don't just walk away. Dab the extra water away or immediately call for housekeeping and help them clean the mess.

4. Don't block the sink
This is not the place where you can have leisurely baths and clean-ups. So, don't take long hours to tidy yourself. Remember, everyone has travelled through this mess and no one has the luxury of time. So, hurry up!

5. Treat it better than your bathroom at home
Perhaps you don't mind your own mess or water puddles or things going unflushed, but in an office environment, be respectful. Thus, keep the place tidy, and if need be use deodoriser to cover up the stink. After all, it's a place of common use, isn't it?


With the recent trend of work experience garnering more importance with each passing day, internships have now donned a new meaning and a new role. As an intern, it is a must for you to put your best foot forward so that your internship could be converted into a job later, if you so desire. Here are a few etiquette pointers that could help you impress your superiors:

1. First day jitters: Make sure you have researched well about the organisation you are interning it - their history, hierarchy, their roster of clients etc. Also, on the first day, it's always preferable to be formally dressed, with the right kind of shoes, accessories and bag.
2. Unwritten rules: Most places have certain rules of their own as far as food and drink habits are concerned. In some organisations people eat together, some have a marked eating place and do not consider eating at their work stations appropriate, and so on. You won't know these till you are a part of the organisation. Therefore, on the first few days, follow your colleagues and you won't go wrong.
3. Borrowing computers: One of the most important aspects about being an intern is whether or not you get your own work station. If you do, great! But if you don't and have to survive on borrowed computers, make it a rule to ask for the concerned person's permission each time before you use it.
4. Showing pro-activeness and high interest levels: If you feel you aren't getting to contribute much or aren't being given work, find the right time and ask your boss about the same. It's a good thing to be proactive and enthusiastic, just make sure that when you do speak to your boss you aren't being interfering.
5. Work aesthetics: Within the first few days you'll discover the aesthetics of your workplace. This would include the language people use, the way they address their seniors and juniors, body language, distance and group dynamics. Make an eager attempt to stick by the same.

Apart from these, giving your 100% at work is a must. Have a positive attitude towards whatever work comes your way. Do it even if you don't like it. The point of your internship is to learn; skip a meal or stay a little longer if you need to, but give your internship a 100%.


There are endless ground rules for etiquette in the office. But etiquette in the office bathroom is just as important, if not more. Check out a couple of doís and doníts for impeccable washroom etiquette.

DO -

Be Sanitary:
No one wants to navigate around your mess. Throw away your trash, wipe up excess water on the countertops, and for heavenís sake, no sprinkles on the seats!

Flush: Donít you just loathe those people who leave little surprises for you in the toilet bowl? If this has happened to you then you know that to save someone else that trauma, please flush when youíre done!

Wash Your Hands: You know what's worse than seeing some stranger in a public bathroom leave without washing their hands? Seeing somebody you work with do the same. Now you get to spend the whole day wondering what they are touching with their filthy, germ-ridden hands, and hoping it's not on your desk, or worse, extended to give you a hand-shake. Moral of the story: wash those hands after youíre done.


Take Your Time:
If people are waiting to use the washroom, donít take your time admiring yourself in the mirror or cooing on the phone to your someone special. Do your thing and get on out of there.

Comb Your Hair: No one likes to go into the bathroom and get accosted by endless strands of someoneís runaway locks. If you absolutely must comb your hair, make sure you donít leave behind strands of your DNA around the place.

Gossip: Washrooms are the last place to have gossip sessions about that new girl with the black nail polish or the guy that always sucks up to the boss. But not only are you inconveniencing the people waiting, youíre probably also running the risk of getting caught!

So the next time you step into your office washroom, remember to make it quick and keep it clean!



ďYour manners are always under examination, and by committees little suspected, awarding or denying you very high prizes when you least think of it."
                                                                      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, the least suspected committee may well turn out to be your next employer and the prize, your ideal job! You never know. So, if you happen to travel a lot, hobnob with clients and visit other offices as part of your work schedule, ensure that your manners are impeccable and your visiting etiquette, intact.

So, how good is your visitor etiquette? Evaluate yourself by going through these simple but effective rules.
  • Be punctual and if youíre 5 minutes early, even better. This indicates that you respect other peopleís time.
  • Don't stroll into a place as if itís your own.
  • Be polite to everyone you meet irrespective of if itís the receptionist or the CEO.
  • If the office that you are visiting needs you to sign in, and take a visitor card, comply with the protocol. You could supply the receptionist with your visiting card.
  • While waiting, don't try to chat up the receptionist, in case youíre feeling bored!
  • While waiting in someone's office, don't touch anything on his/her desk or around his/her room. Similarly, his/her reading material is his/her own, and is not there for you to kill time with.
  • Carry your own pens and note pads; it looks very unprofessional when you ask to borrow theirs.
  • Get your work done and leave. This is not a social visit so donít grab every opportunity to chitchat.
  • On your way out, remember to thank the receptionist!



    What is email etiquette? Well, here is a list of the top email etiquette rules you need to note.

    1. Be concise and to the point.
    Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be. Remember that reading an e-mail is harder than reading printed communications.

    2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.
    An email reply must answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions Ė If you do not answer all the questions in the original email, you will receive further e-mails regarding the unanswered questions, which will not only waste your time and your customerís time but also cause considerable frustration.

    3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation.
    This is not only important because improper spelling, grammar and punctuation give a bad impression of your company, it is also important for conveying the message properly. E-mails with no full stops or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change the meaning of the text.

    4. Answer swiftly.
    E-mails are sent as people wish to receive a quick response. Each e-mail should be replied to within at least 24 hours, and preferably within the same working day.

    5. Do not attach unnecessary files.
    By sending large attachments you can annoy others and even bring down their e-mail system. Wherever possible try to compress attachments.

    6. Use proper structure & layout.
    Since reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper, the structure and lay out is very important for e-mail messages. Use short paragraphs and blank lines between each paragraph. When making points, number them or mark each point as separate to keep the overview.

    7. Do not overuse the high priority option.
    If you overuse the high priority option, it will lose its function when you really need it.

    8. Do not write in CAPITALS.
    IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.

    9. Read the email before you send it.
    A lot of people don't bother to read an email before they send it out, as can be seen from the many spelling and grammar mistakes contained in emails. Apart from this, reading your email through the eyes of the recipient will help you send a more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments.

    10. Do not overuse Reply to All.
    Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.

    11. Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
    Sending an email is like sending a postcard. If you don't want your email to be displayed on a bulletin board, don't send it. Moreover, never p make any libelous, sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even if they are meant to be a joke.

    12. Use cc: field sparingly.
    Try not to use the cc: field unless the recipient in the cc: field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message. Using the cc: field can be confusing since the recipients might not know who is supposed to act on the message.

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