The Unspoken Rules of the Workplace

Unspoken rule at workplace

Most famous animated series like The Simpsons made a comic episode, which showed what the situation in any place of work may look like. Take a closer look and you will understand that many rules are unwritten. I’m sure there is a rulebook on every job but sometimes it’s complicated to find them.

The unwritten rules of the workplace can be confusing for anyone. And for the first time in a job, the confusion can be exacerbated!

And I am sure, nobody wants to take that chance!

So here is a simple rulebook of 10 simple etiquettes that no one should miss at their workplace:

  1. The first 90 days are crucial (even for a new government)!
  • It should be all about observing. Before you come up with suggestions, know the why and what behind every minute process.
  • Embrace the change. Do not compare with your past experiences. Every workplace is different
  • Unlearn and Relearn are what help you to adapt.

2. Before the second point, a little story here for you:

Ray started his new job and within a month of his stay, he was unhappy and demotivated.

When I dug further, he told me that his manager gave him a task and then followed up after 2 weeks to check on completion and was really furious to not have it completed.

I: Why didn’t you tell your manager about the fact that during these 2 weeks, you could not get the resources for the project?

Ray: Because he didn’t ask!

I: Oh come on Ray!

Proactive Communication is the most undervalued yet precious skill for your workplace.

Keep the stakeholders informed. A must!

The work in your plate is your responsibility and so is the communication pertaining to that.

Sign of ownership.

Also, acknowledgement of communication on all channels indicates accountability.

3. Another tip in the series of communication is also transparent communication. Whether it’s your work timings, leaves or your daily task list, you must have a log.

4. Meeting Etiquette

You heard it right. Etiquette!

Calendars are saviors when it comes to WFH scenarios.

  • Meetings to be preplanned and set if you are the host. Do acknowledge an invite too.
  • Take care of basic infrastructure, mic, camera and connectivity
  • Mute and unmute proactively

5. Leaves are a responsibility too

  • Plan better and in advance
  • Choose someone for handover and share the status quo of your work with your manager
  • And definitely, an OOO (Out Of Office) email should be set on default for your vacation days

6. Documentation = Impression Management

Absolutely yes! In the world of emails, excels and pdfs, how can we ignore the basic rulebook for documentation.

  • Always documents during meetings and knowledge transfers
  • Do it NEAT (Uniformity, Alignment, spacing, font size and color should be a check)
  • Find a standard template from the organization
  • While sharing, PDF is good
  • Folders can help organize
  • Proofread for grammar and spellings (Download Grammarly extension on your browser)

7. Dressing

We can go on and on about it. But read our blog here on the importance of dressing well.

8. A sense of belonging towards the organization can really help you to be happy within.

Develop a culture of open communication (Polite tone please), be open to feedback, don’t whine over trivial processes. Everything does not deserve a grapevine!

9. Culture Sensitivity

As a country we are known for our diversity. So why whimper over having a North Indian or South Indian in your team.

The best way to deal with disparate cultures is to embrace it. Don’t fit in, but don’t judge too.

10. Gender Sensitivity

“Hey! Don’t even try it needs strength”

“Why does he need to leave early for his daughter’s PTM?”

“Oh man! Why do you need a work-life balance?”

Are the above statements relatable much?

You cannot say that. Period! Fun way, candid way, sarcasm, just saying, you cannot!

Conditioning, Unconscious mind, and unawareness all of this leads to bias at the workplace.

The only way to deal with it is a conscious effort toward making the other gender feel comfortable. Be aware of the proximity, your body language and choice of words.

And this is a slow and gradual step toward sensitivity.

So that would be it. We have compiled a list of unspoken rules at the workplace, which will help you avoid making frequent faux pas at the workplace, however large or small your organization is.

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Head - L&D
Sweety is focused on creating effective training practices for the overall experiences, engagement, and success of team members and our learners across all academic and corporate engagements. A passionate Behavioural Skills Coach driven by people enablement. Her articles help our readers enhance their soft skills for better career advancement.