Are you Being Rude in the Workplace | 5 No-No’s & How to Stop

Posted on 01.09.2017

Most adults spend more of their “awake” time at work than at home during the week. I know that’s certainly true for me. Work can get stressful from time to time and it’s easy for manners to become lax or put on the back-burner when we need to get things done, but efficiency should never be the murderer of good manners. Here’s a list of 5 major manner no-no’s and how to stop them.

1) Not saying hello to your coworkers in the hall.

I know I’ve spoken about this once before, and this may seem like common sense, but if one of your colleagues is walking down the hall and you converge, look at them, smile, and say hello! It’s really simple. By not saying hello to people, you come off as rude, cold, and people are unlikely to want to speak to you in the future. You could be the nicest person in the world, but turning away from someone passing you is considered rude in our Western culture. Along the same lines, if you’re sitting in the company lunchroom and someone says hi, acknowledge them! It will go a long way to building your positive reputation in the workplace.

2) Omitting the name of the person you’re addressing an email to.

Unless you’re a jerkface, you’ll typically say, “Hi Suzy!” (or whatever the name is) when you come to ask a colleague a question in person, so why do we become so lax in email and don’t give a salutation? Let’s work on this. It takes less than 10 seconds to type out a salutation at the beginning of an email and to close the email with a sign-off. It’s something very small but it goes a long way in showing respect to your colleagues and letting them know that you value their assistance.

3) Excusing your typos.

I totally understand making mistakes from time to time, but are you so busy that you can’t take 20-30 seconds to proofread your email before sending it? You may think so but, trust me, you’re not. It is viewed as an implication that your recipient isn’t important enough to get your full attention. Please, take 30 seconds and proofread your emails and take that “excuse my typos” line out of your signature. Your colleagues and superiors will appreciate it.

4) Being a snob or know-it-all.

Have you ever had those coworkers who seemed to consider their needs and wants higher than those of the company or to think their opinions mattered the most? How about someone who everyone avoided when they needed help because they’d give a smug, know-it-all response? I think we’ve all encountered it or, perhaps, even been that person from time to time. This behavior makes you look childish and can cause separation within teams. If you find yourself doing this, stop! Take the time to really consider the needs of the team and company ahead of yours. If you lean toward know-it-all status, listen more attentively and don’t cut your coworkers off, even if you do know the answer or how to fix the problem. Listen to understand instead of listening to respond. When you do respond, have humble confidence in your response. I know humble and confident don’t tend to go in the same sentence, but they can reside together. Humble confidence is tempering your tone so that you don’t sound like a snob but you are knowledgeable about your answer.

5) Keeping your work space like a pigpen.

You will be working in an office with other humans most likely, and being a slob is never acceptable. You don’t want to be that person whose cube is avoided because it smells funny and there’s nowhere to sit and collaborate. You are, most likely, an adult and should clean up after yourself and maintain a tidy work space. Tidiness indicates respect for yourself and those around you. It also indicates that you care about your work and your job. I know some coworkers who set aside 15 minutes at the end of the day on Friday to simply tidy up their work space, get rid of clutter, and clean down the surfaces with Clorox wipes. I think that’s a great idea!

There you have it—5 rude behaviors and how to overcome them. Can you think of any rude workplace behaviors and how to fix them? Share in the comments below!