by Valerie Kielmovitch
Beginning a new job or internship can seem overwhelming for many different reasons. Anticipating who your co-workers will be and adjusting to the office culture can be one of the most nerve racking parts of a new position. Adhering to general and office etiquette, though, can help you transition into the work force with ease.
Here are some tips on how to be a great co-worker:
- Communication is Key: Make sure all of your office communication is professional and detailed. Follow all email and voicemail etiquette.
- Be Personable: It is important to acknowledge co-workers with a ‘good morning’ or ‘have a good night.’ Remember to be friendly with all personnel from custodial workers to the head of the company. Allow yourself to be approachable.
- Co-worker versus Friend: This is a thin line, and you want to be sure you do not overstep boundaries with co-workers. Be careful of how much personal information you share with a co-worker. Remember that you are at work, and humor or jokes that may be funny outside of the office may not be appropriate.
- Personal Hygiene: Some workplaces have small work spaces so ensure that you have good personal hygiene, but remember not to overdo the perfume or cologne as some co-workers may have allergies and or the scent could become overwhelming. If you are a smoker, make sure you follow all company policies regarding breaks and designated areas and be aware that the smell of smoke may affect others as well.
- Common Area Cleanliness: Many offices have a common break room or kitchen. It is not one person’s responsibility to keep this space clean so always clean up after yourself. If there is a shared refrigerator, try not to take up too much room and consider others’ needs. Make certain that the items you bring for meals or breaks are not too overwhelming or disturbing to the office environment.
- Personal Workspace: Sharing a workspace can be challenging, but remember to be considerate of your co-worker(s). Make sure all personal pictures are appropriate and keep music to a minimum as not to disturb others. Arrange your desk so it is presentable/organized if others rely on you for information/paperwork.
- Volunteer: If a special event or community service opportunity arises, take time to volunteer. Remember special holidays like Boss’s Day or Administrative Professionals Day along with co-workers’ milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries.
- Timeliness: Being on time to meetings or appointments is essential. It shows others that you respect their time as well.
- Network: When attending company-wide events, ensure that you meet co-workers from other departments. Try to break out of your normal clique to socialize with people you may not know. Even in the workplace, it is sometimes all about who you know.
Serving as a great co-worker will get you noticed and make the working environment more enjoyable for all!
Valerie Kielmovitch has been working as a Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for nearly two years. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and Master of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina. Valerie has a diverse background in the field of higher education from residence life to career services.