Don’t be the office douchebag: 13 office etiquettes that require zero talent

Gil Cadiz

Why the need to be nice, you ask. Simple – when you’re nice to people, they return your niceness in many ways. When you have a good relationship with your officemates, every minute at work becomes more fun, productive and fulfilling.

If you get them to like you, they become more cooperative, making your work a little easier. They’re more open to discussing exciting ideas with you and more willing to help you pull through difficult tasks. They become your friends.

Becoming the bes ng bayan doesn’t require talent. It doesn’t even entail enrolling in a personality development class or booking sessions with a shrink. You just need to practice basic social and communication skills and be consistent in showing kindness and consideration of others.

Here are simple but surefire ways that will make you everyone’s bestie:

1. Wear a smile the moment you enter the office.

Be the champion of starting the day off with positivity – it’s contagious. There’ll always be that someone in the team who is not a morning person, give them your morning greetings, anyway. But, don’t be overly friendly or excessively enthusiastic as people would no doubt find that phony.

2. Look your co-workers in the eye when they’re talking to you.

Give them your full attention – it’s a basic social skill. There’s nothing more annoying than someone who continues to look at their screen and gives you lazy answers when you’re trying to discuss an important matter with them.

3. Get to know them better; practice the art of small talk.


When you bump into a newbie or someone you don’t directly work with, strike up a light conversation with them about universal topics – how their day is going, trending/viral stories, current news, common interests, etc. Who knows, they could be your new workout buddy or trusted companion for out-of-town trips and music festivals.

4. Be generous with compliments.


From time to time, find something nice to laud them on. Simple compliments like “Nice kicks,” “Awesome idea,” or “Ganda ng gawa mo!” can go a long way. People feel good when they get a genuine compliment and that feeling seeps into their work output and work relationships.

5. Speak up in meetings even if you hate speaking up.


Part of being a team player is being honest with your thoughts and getting your voice heard. Keeping your thoughts to yourself is not just counterproductive; it will keep you from growing in your job and people will see you as the person with no opinion – unreliable and unimportant. We don’t want that happening, do we?

6. Don’t eff up. If you do, don’t make excuses; fix it and learn from it.

Don’t be the weakest link in your team. If you screw up big time, acknowledge your mistake, apologize sincerely, learn from it and don’t make it happen ever again. Repeat it and your credibility automatically flies out the window.

7. Keep your email inbox clean and your mind free.


Make sure you reply to all your emails and messages especially the urgent ones before you leave your desk. You either do that or be flooded with thinly veiled sarcastic follow-ups – your choice.

8. Don’t be the office tattler.


There will always be office gossip but don’t ever be the person that spreads rumors – that’s one of the easiest ways to make an environment toxic.

9. Respect your co-workers’ time and space.

Be on time for meetings. Beat your deadlines even if entails pulling an overnighter. Don’t engage someone in cheap talk when they’re in the zone. Always be sensitive and considerate.

10. Offer to share resources to lighten others’ workload.


If you see a teammate who’s up to the neck with tasks, offer to help them out. Such acts of kindness are never forgotten and almost always returned.

11. Don’t rant about work stuff on your social media page.


Your social media page is not your diary. Yes, it’s your own page but it’s pvblic and you don’t wash your dirty linen in public – that’s the stuff of lowlifes. You’ll not just piss off co-workers who follow you, you might even get a summons from HR.

12. Keep your work area neat and help keep common areas clean.


Nobody likes working with someone yucky. Keep your desk tidy and don’t type on the keyword when your fingers are covered with snack remnants or melted chocolate – gross! And don’t dirtify the pantry – dispose of food discards properly and don’t leave plates and utensils you’ve used unwashed and unstored.

13. Share your food.


Don’t be a Joey.

Strong bonds are formed by laughter and conversations over shared snacks. Make it a habit to willingly share yours.

Have fun at work today!

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