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Office etiquette. Is it a thing anymore?

It seems like gone are the days when people respected each other’s belongings and communal spaces in the workplace!

I’ve had a number of jobs, with each presenting its own range of bizarre workplace behaviours that make me question, is office etiquette a thing of the past?

For instance – the work toilet. How is it that paper towel always ends up on the floor when there is a bin RIGHT there? Right there! It’s baffling.

Same thing in the actual cubicle. Toilet paper ends up all over the floor. Seriously – how does this happen? Do people just miss? Tear off too much, then feel like it’s too much of an effort to dispose of it properly?

The bizarre toilet habits don’t end there.

When people wash their hands (which it looks like they do, thankfully), many must shake them in such a crazy manner to the point where water splashes all over the mirror and floor.

Again – why? There is paper towel right there (just make sure it goes in the bin!).

Trying to help the environment maybe? Well, good on you if that’s the case, but if it is, there’s really no need to make the bathroom look like there’s been a tsunami in there.

Now we move on to the work kitchen.

I think it’s good when people label their foods – but seriously – is this what we’ve come to? People stealing each other’s food if it’s not labelled?

You’d think most people in the workplace are functioning adults who are able to go out and buy their own peanut butter!

Then there’s the dishes. Those pesky dishes. A lot of workplaces have dishwashers – yet the basic idea of rinsing a plate and popping it in the dishwasher seems too much for some.

Now I know actually turning the dishwasher on is a CRAZY idea that’s probably too out there for me to suggest – but give it a try. It’s not that hard and you’d be helping everyone else out!

If you see off milk in the fridge at home – would you leave it there, or chuck it out? If you see off milk in the fridge at work – just pour it out and put the bottle in the recycling bin. Am I asking too much here?

Sure – a lot of workplaces employ cleaners who work super hard to clean up after everyone else’s mess. But surely it shouldn’t ALL be left up to them?

It doesn’t matter what position you have at work – Manager, casual worker, whatever, washing a plate or emptying off milk isn’t beneath anyone. Well, it shouldn’t be.

Leaving yoghurt licked spoons on desks, even if it is your own desk, is just kinda gross. Workplaces aren’t hotels, people! Even if they were, would you really leave a yoghurt licked spoon stuck to a table?

There seems to be a general attitude in a lot of workplaces along the lines of “well it wasn’t my plate, so I shouldn’t have to wash it,” or “it wasn’t my leftover mouldy pasta, so I shouldn’t have to chuck it out.”

The solution here is simple. If everyone chipped in and looked after their own mess, there wouldn’t be a problem! But honestly, I don’t think it’d break anyone’s back to put an extra coffee mug or fork in the dishwasher – even if it isn’t yours.

This is all sounding quite negative. I have actually witnessed some really positive office etiquette!

Colleagues filling up each other’s water bottles, wiping down benches (even if it’s involved other people’s crumbs) and putting that extra bit of scrap paper in the recycling bin.

But surely we can do better, can’t we?

Is office etiquette a thing of the past? Was it ever there in the first place?

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