Rules for a happy office?

office body languageThis week I attended a training session at work, on the organisation’s Responsible Conduct of Staff Policy.

After two hours of discussing the misuse of corporate credit cards, the rules around having another job on the side and the implications of swearing at your colleagues when they annoy you, it struck me that there were a few things missing* from the policy.

1. When returning to the office after exercising, please do not do your cool-down stretches in front of colleagues.
There’s a reason many of us don’t befriend all of our colleagues on Facebook: we know there are some things they just shouldn’t see. The same can be said for senior managers doing glute stretches while wearing very short shorts. Things escape when put under pressure. You know what I’m talking about.

2. When asked to donate books to the office book-swapping table, please don’t bring in 50 Shades of Grey.
Just too awkward. Yes, we’re all adults, but didn’t you think the last management textbook you read or something by Gabriel Garcia Marquez would send a better message to the people in charge of your career? Unless you know something about them that I don’t…ewww!

3. Please don’t prepare gourmet lunches in the communal kitchen when a Scottish person is likely to enter.
When chips aren’t available, Scottish people generally eat sandwiches for lunch. The sandwich will usually have a maximum of three ingredients, which can include the margarine and the bread. It will have been prepared at home the night before and wrapped in cling film or stored in an old ice-cream container. Your quinoa blinis with wagyu beef strips, organic avocado and sun-dried tomatoes, purchased fresh from the market that morning and assembled on-site on an oversized white plate with a garnish of rocket and a trio of Italian cheeses will just make them feel inadequate and are unlikely to contribute to a positive working relationship (unless you offer them some).

What would you like to see on the list of rules for your office?


* that may apply in some offices. Not mine, of course. This is purely hypothetical. Natch. 😉



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