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A Little Lesson in Good Office Etiquette
Not everyone seems to know what it means to have good manners at work, that’s why we are here to h...
Career 22 Aug 2023

It is no secret that working in the art world means that some days you spend more time at your desk and in the studio than you do at home, but it’s important to remember that work isn’t a place to let loose and forget your manners, especially when working with others. Good office etiquette make all the difference in our daily encounters in the workplace and can make a big difference to your career advancement opportunities. But not everyone seems to know what it means to have good office etiquette, that’s why we are here to help.
Here is a list of office do’s and don’ts to help you succeed in your art world career.

Don’t : Be late and lose focus

Image from a scene in The Devil Wears Prada via coffee ‘ n clothes

Try to arrive a few minutes early to start your workday. Working 9 – 5 doesn’t mean rocking up at your desk at nine, turning on your computer, having a gossip with your colleagues, making and eating your breakfast, then finally starting at 10 am.  Also, be conscious of being early for meetings. Whether you’re leading or attending the meeting, make sure you aren’t distracted by calls, emails, texts or side conversations. Unless you’re making a presentation, don’t dominate the discussion either, and don’t allow anyone else to, either.

Do: Keep people updated

No one likes having to unnecessarily go back on fourth back on something minor, especially your boss, which is why keeping people in the loop is important. Even if the news is that you haven’t finished something, keeping communication with your colleagues of your progress is always a good thing. In this case it’t not all about the chase or keeping others in the dark.

Don’t: Say that’s not my job!

People who are helpful and willing to take on tasks outside their job requirements of their daily duties are always respected. If you go out of your way for your colleagues, your colleagues are more likely to go out of their way for you.

Do: Pay attention to the art world news around you

Image result for nocturnal animals
Image of Nocturnal Animals via Artviste

Knowledge is always power when it comes to your art world career. Which is why it is strange to bosses when someone doesn’t seem to know what other brands, companies, or people in the art industry are doing. Whether it’s simply to learn what not to do or to look for some inspiration to ignite an idea of your own, you should always pay attention to other businesses in your category. So, check The Art Gorgeous for our daily news to impress your team 😉

Don’t: Be lazy and leave on a bad note

From the start of your day to the end, keep your work pace and consistency the same, so don’t slack, show up late, or suck, in general.. This means no after lunch naps at your desk, or slumping off 5 minutes before you are due to leave. This also applies from when you hand in your resignation letter until your last day. You should be working even twice as hard during this time, because these last few weeks efforts is how your your boss will remember you. It is your legacy that you will carry on to your next job after all.

Do: Become tolerant

Open-office environments, which many art companies consist of now, bring together a wide range of personalities, with different styles. Be tolerant of these differences and find ways to adapt. Everyone is not going to agree with you all the time. Keep an open mind, listen with the intent to learn and focus on the positive aspects of your job instead of being annoyed with others.

Do: Respect another’s space

Do you become annoyed when your i phone charger goes missing? Just because your colleagues work space is within reach of your desk doesn’t make it is common domain. This also means don’t let your mess spread across to other people areas. Do not help yourself to anything on your colleagues desk or in their area. Ask first or go to the supply closet if you need a paintbrush or a stapler and treat other peoples things as you wish yours to be treated.

Don’t: Leave your space in a mess

Image result for legally blonde office
Image via Chicagotribune of Legally Blonde
Your messy desk can be a distraction to others and can take away the professional image your company is trying to establish. This goes for your appearance at work too. Keep your belongings confined to your own personal space and tidy up your area regularly.

Do: Think like a team

In order to maintain a cohesive team, do not spread gossip, make another to feel like an outcast, or grumble about petty office things. Hold regular meetings to set goals, share ideas and talk about concerns, because remember – there is no I in team, team work makes the dream work …ah you get what we mean.

Now after learning the etiquette and trying your best to tolerate your colleagues and respect your working space, what if you make a mistake?

Remember making mistakes is natural and everyone does every now and then, so don’t beat yourself up if you have a minor etiquette mistake at work. Simply take notice of your faux pas and say sorry to anyone you might have offended ASAP. Then think about what may have caused the the mistake: Were you feeling stressed about handling a problem outside of work perhaps? Try to deal with the root of the issue and consider how you might deal with the situation in the future so that you don’t repeat it. If you haven’t demonstrated the kind of office etiquette listed in our do’s and don’ts remember, you can recover. The first step is to see your error to move forward.

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