InStyle's 15 Rules Of Office Etiquette

InStyle's 15 Rules Of Office Etiquette

Noisy shoes, crop tops and smelly food – here's our handy guide on what to avoid to get ahead at work

1. Smelly food
Seriously, guys, what’s wrong with a sandwich? Even if the canteen does do a delicious fish pie, don’t eat it at your desk.  Oh, and FYI, BBQ Beef Hula Hoops are the most pungent of all crisps…

2. Deal with the SDN (same dress nightmare)
You’ve all had that day when someone wears the same (usually Breton-striped) top as you. Don’t get mad, get funny. Acknowledge your fashion twin with a giggle, or go one better and post a picture of you both on Instagram.

3. The life-admin bore
We don’t know what’s worse: the girl on the phone losing her shiz at her bridesmaids (“look, can everyone just FOCUS!”) or the person yelling at their estate agent about completion dates.

4. Noisy footwear
Ever worked with someone you can recognise approaching your desk by sound alone? Loud shoes can be useful if it’s your boss wearing them and you’re wasting time on Facebook (minimise that window NOW), but think twice before donning your wooden flatforms if you prefer a stealthy approach in the office.

Check your acoustics before taking a private call in a corridor. Your workmates would probably rather not know the finer details of your appointment at The Ministry of Waxing.

6. Kids, eh?
We love babies, and it’s cute when people bring their toddlers to work, if it’s for, like, ten minutes. It’s less cute when their parent gets called into an important meeting (yes, we’re talking to YOU, senior management) and you’re left with the child on your lap, insisting you watch Peppa Pig with it, rather than dealing with overdue expenses.  

7. Know when to throw
If the flowers are dead, BIN THEM!

8. The newly not-single
OK. We get it. You’ve got a boyfriend. But there’s no need to ostentatiously carry your overnight bag exclaiming, “oh, SORRY, is my bag in your way? It’s just all my stuff that I’m taking to my BOYFRIEND’S tonight”.

9. Busting out
Low-cut tops are a bit like certain virals – really NSFW. Your colleagues don’t want to see that when they’re trying to work out profit and loss for the last tax year. Remember, ladies: stay classy.

10. NBT syndrome
NBT syndrome – that’s Noisy Bangle Typing syndrome – is an affliction we’re all familiar with. It falls into the same category as NLNT syndrome (Noisy Long Nails Typing syndrome), but is easier to cure (just take off the bangles).

11. Hot drinks
If you’re not prepared to make tea and coffee for other people, don’t accept the offer to have a cup made for you. Unless you buy biscuits or cupcakes. Then all is forgiven.

12. Bunny boiler
If someone comes to work in an AMAZING coat, don’t rush out to buy the very same one so you can wear it the next day. It’s creepy.

13. The 5.55pm makeover
No one wants to be the girl with a grubby keyboard who leaves orange marks everywhere. A touch-up is fine, but tipping a make-up kit onto your desk is a step too far…


14. Germ spreading
If you’re sick, stay at home. It’s that simple.

15. Fashion faux pas
We work in a fashion office, but even some of us have taken it too far. Culottes? Totally fine. Crop tops? Not so much.

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