A recent news article reported that ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was one of the most popular comedies on TV and the highest paid actors belonged to the same show. The sitcom traces the lives of four Cal-Tech scientists , who go from being colleagues to best friends and the quirky lives they lead. The four friends continue to remain competitive with each other at work vying for benefits, whilst still being friends off it. The story resonates with so many of us, probably one of the reasons for its early success, other than of course it’s well written humour.

All of us have fond memories of working in organizations. Those memories are more or less built around friends, funny stories, memorable achievements and happy occasions. These happy recollections do not just help cement amity but make us reflect positively about the organization in which these memories were made. Organization behaviour researchers recommend that workplaces create an atmosphere in which, employees are able to actively build communities and build camaraderie with one another. This culture builds trusts and harvests active learning.

Many firms make an effort to build a culture of amicability. The Human-Resources department plans a holistic calendar in which many events, occasions and festivals can be celebrated within an office-work space. Other than face to face interaction, today’s offices provide an opportunity to stay connected via the office intranet or communication platform. These are the internal social media platforms, and have features which allow discussions, sharing pictures, creating hobby communities etc. Whist enjoying building these networks in offices, we must also remember that work-place etiquettes are different from those in personal space. It’s always good to maintain your good manners and respect for each other.

Here are some guidelines on how we can continue to maintain our manners while still being part of the office social circle.

General Behaviour

  • Don’t talk in a regional language, while you are in a mixed group. Similarly don’t reference jokes , cultural quirks which could alienate one or more individuals
  • Try to cultivate a habit of talking in an even tone as a norm. Don’t use loud tones when you are upset or angry. Using profanity while in college could have been cool, but at workspaces indicates immaturity
  • Before borrowing something like stationary or even food, do seek permission. Also remember, just because you were allowed to borrow once, it doesn’t mean you can borrow always
  • Peeking into laptops, computer screens or mobile phones just because they happen to be in front of you is inappropriate. Respect privacy
  • Some colleagues could be old friends or even relatives, refrain from calling them by their nicknames in the office. Always address people by the name they prefer, publically being referred by
  • A common trait seen in India, we are curious about family background and personal details. As a rule, do not ask personal information unless the other person share’s information up front. Similarly don’t over share about your personal life
  • Don’t check and chat on your phone, when you are interacting with colleagues. Not only does it seem rude, also shows you are disinterested in the interaction
  • Maintain personal hygiene always-don’t be shy of using grooming products such as sanitizers, deodorants etc.

Social Media Behaviour

  • Be courteous and use appropriate language while using the office social media
  • Spamming colleagues should definitely be avoided
  • Sharing personal pictures and personal information over the office social media needs to regulated. It’s best to understand what level of information can be shared online
  • Share contents which are appropriate for office discussions rather than incendiary posts
  • Don’t get argumentative over other’s posts because the point of view is different from yours. Avoid personal name calling or personal remarks at any costs
  • Don’t over use abbreviations and smileys
  • Respond to messages that are addressed to you
  • Before you decide to friend/follow/tag colleagues in the public social media, check back to see if your colleagues are comfortable

Building relationships at workplace is always a good idea. Not only are these associations a good support system but these interactions help you grow and learn while at work.

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