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In episode 25 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss how people behave at work, how they treat each other, and some tips for being a considerate office mate. Topics include email, office gossip, mobile device misuse, and loud talking. They also address a listener’s question about how to handle a boss’s double standards for people in the same role.
The episode kicks off with a discussion of email etiquette; 8 million emails are sent every second, and the typical corporate worker sends and receives at least 110 emails every day, so this is an important topic! Common issues include not responding to emails, knowing when to email and when to call or set a meeting, and texting when an email would make more sense. JoDee and Susan discuss tips for being a polite emailer.
Office gossip and mobile device misuse are two other big issues. Avoid gossiping in the office at all, but definitely don’t do it in the open office space, where it can be overheard and be toxic to the team’s morale. If you’re using your phone to take notes, clear the air ahead of time and let everyone know that’s what you’re doing. Don’t “cell yell,” and respect people’s personal space; a safe distance is 10 feet. And don’t check your phone during meals and meetings – if you need to have it on, put it on vibrate and excuse yourself if you need to take a call.
Not washing your hands in the bathroom, eating at your desk, and bringing food that may smell unpleasant can make coworkers cringe. To address these issues, create a formal policy, post handwashing posters in restrooms and kitchens, install hand sanitizers, and provide employees with disinfectant wipes.
With the prevalence of open layout offices, loud talkers can be disturbing to others’ concentration. If you’re dealing with a loud talker, address the issue with them directly and ask if you can do anything to make their work experience better. If you don’t feel brave enough for that, bring it up in a team meeting. Be cognizant of the background noise when you’re working from a coffee shop or from home, too. Don’t drop into others’ offices uninvited to be social or because it looks like the person isn’t busy. It’s important to ask if the time is good, and to listen to the answer. When someone asks you if it’s a good time, be able to let them know that it’s not a good time without it seeming like you’re avoiding them.
When you’re on a conference call, be sure to introduce yourself and identify yourself every time you make a comment or ask a question so others know who’s in charge of next steps. And don’t use speakerphone unless you’re in a private office or conference room.
Social media can make it hard for you and your coworkers to stay focused; it can be a work tool, but can also be extremely distracting. JoDee and Susan discuss what to do when your boss, employee, colleague, or client asks to friend you on Facebook and whether or not you should accept all invitations to connect on LinkedIn. Other etiquette concerns include not being sensitive to time zone differences, animals in the workspace, and coming in late and/or leaving early.
In this episode’s listener mail, Charlene asks how to handle it when her boss has double standards for what he expects out of different people in the same role. JoDee and Susan discuss a new U.S. Department of Transportation rule requiring companies regulated by the department to conduct opioid testing.