The Open Plan Office

The 3 S's of Open Plan Office Etiquette
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Professional Impressions
would like to credit:

Jeff Durham- Working in Open
and Partitioned Workplaces
and Offices.
Peggy Newfield- Open Office Courtesies.
Etiquette tips for the office -
Office Cubicle Etiquette-
Aviva Shariff
10 ways to improve your office etiquette - Calvin Sun

Images sourced from:

Is your Open Plan
Office Etiquette correct?

Most of us spend more time within our office walls and in the company of our colleagues than we do with our families.

So ensuring your work environment is a pleasant place to spend time in, is vital to the success of your role and to that of the company you work for.
The open plan system was introduced to increase productivity and team work. At the same time we are now permanently visible and open to constant distractions and interruptions.

So how do you make the most of your experience? Read on to ensure you are adhering to the 3 S’s of
open plan office courtesies.

Bored with your beginning of year conference/meeting?

Start 2012 on a high!

Here is an INFO-TAINING way to uplift yourself, your colleagues and new employees to new heights.
Choose from our menu of exciting presentations:

“Be the Next
Chief Breakthrough Employee”

“Are you packaged for success?”

“Power Etiquette”

For more information Contact us on:
Tel: 011 469 1396 or

The Open Plan Office

“Building and maintaining strong business relationships is the key to success. While keys are designed to unlock doors, in the modern workplace, doors are about as scarce as good manners”
Aviva Shariff

Working in an open plan office setup is very challenging as space is limited and privacy is almost non-existent. 
Be aware of any signs that your colleagues may be giving you–it could be something you are doing is annoying them. 

The 3 S's of Open Office Etiquette

Office distractions fall under the following 3 S’s:

•Keep your voice low when talking to others.
•Ensure your mobile phone is on silent or on low volume.
•Avoid irritating ring tones e.g. a baby crying
•Don’t use the speakerphone/speaker dial when you have others around you.
•If you want to listen to music-use headphones-don’t hum to the tune.
•Be aware of distracting noises such as popping your chewing gum, slurping your coffee,
chomping on food, constant clicking of a pen.
•Stop spreading gossip or even listening to it.
•Don’t discuss your break-up with your boyfriend or awful mother-in-law for all to hear.

•When entering a colleague’s work area-announce yourself and ask if you may “come in”.
•“Prairie Dogging” or peeking over the divider to chat to your colleague is unprofessional and a
distraction to others around you. Don’t hang a tie, jacket, bag over the cubicle wall.
•Ensure your desk is respectfully decorated. Don’t display potentially offensive pictures/slogans/coffee mugs. Keep family pics to a minimum and leave the fluffy toys at home.
•Maintain your workspace neat and tidy-its an extension of your personal brand. The excuse of “I know
where everything is”-does not cut it anymore.

•Keep fragrances to a minimum. Don’t be known as the “Aramis” guy or the “Red Door girl”.
•Practise great personal hygiene-especially if you are a smoker or suffer from excessive sweating.
•Avoid eating smelly foods at your desk e.g. slap chips, curry, garlic bread.
Always keep breath mints on you.

Beware of taking your shoes off under your desk-even though you may think that nobody can see you, -those around you will definitely smell sweaty feet.

At all times remember that when working in an open plan area you need to create a balance between being accessible to your colleagues and maintaining boundaries when you need to focus on work. It’s about treating others with the same respect and consideration you’d like to be treated with–this is a sure way to maintain a harmonious workspace. 

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