From breakfast at your desk to break room blunders, some obvious and not-so-obvious behaviors are causing unrest in America’s workplaces, according to a survey from National Business Furniture and Kelton Global. The good news is these problems can easily be solved by encouraging just a bit of office decorum.
Here are five common office misbehaviors and tips on addressing them:
1. Foul Foods
Sometimes you want to ask your coworker for the recipe of the divine-smelling dish they just heated in the microwave. Other times, you find yourself stuck sniffing yesterday’s attempt at a casserole.
According to the National Business Furniture survey, 52 percent of American workers find cooking fragrant foods at the office to be an offensive behavior, although younger workers are less bothered by smelly foods than their baby boomer counterparts. Note that unpleasant odors go beyond the classic can of tuna; be considerate of sensitivities to garlic, spicy food, burnt popcorn, pungent vegetables, and raw onions.
Luckily, there’ a long list of foods that don’t have much of a scent at all to choose from when you’re snacking at work. To preempt this issue, stock the office kitchen with inexpensive and non-offensive snacks like fruit and granola bars. Designate a break area that is far away from open cubicles to discourage eating at desks.
If the behavior continues, it’s perfectly acceptable to politely address the problem. Some coworkers will take the hint. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to bring the matter to a supervisor’s attention.
2. Loud Music
The survey found that 74 percent of employees say it is unacceptable to play loud music during the workday. Before you pump up the jams, think about the captive audience in your area. With open concept offices on the rise, it’s easier than ever to hear your neighbor’s every move. Cubicle walls are notoriously thin, leaving little to the imagination. While a quick chat may be understandable, it’s considered rude to make consistent, elevated noise throughout the day.
It doesn’t take much to keep your favorite podcasts and energizing albums out of earshot. Nearly three in ten employees (29 percent) have turned to headphones to get their grooves on without disturbing their workplace neighbors. Another solution is to look at soundproofing or noise-absorbing options such as art panels or movable privacy walls.
3. Chronic Lateness
You saw the Outlook meeting reminder, wrapped up your task, grabbed your laptop, and booked it to the conference room — but it turns our none of your colleagues did the same. Read more here…