It was a multinational company with excellent infrastructure and hodgepodge of people coming from various cultures. There were a group of employees relaxing in a pantry on one of the many floors in one of the many sprawling buildings of the MNC. While a lady employee was sitting there sipping on coffee, a colleague from a previous assignment excitedly came to wish her as they have met after a long time. He came and stood way bit closer than what is deemed to be normal without a hint of realization of the discomfort he had caused the lady. Right across the Lady’s table a group of greenhorns were chatting away happy and loud. A girl among them in all her merriment was constantly nudging and hitting a guy next to her, oblivious to the fact that he hated the girl’s way too friendly behavior.
Such experiences at workplaces have become very common and frequent for both the genders that you can no longer differentiate between an intended and an innocent action. Yet, these actions can really not be accepted as change of times by everyone. There is only one thing that can be done, which is to stay informed of the workplace etiquette.
“It is just a piece of cloth. So please DO NOT stare. ”
Gentlemen, why stare? Innerwear is supposed to stay in but sometimes it is possible that they might slip out and show a bit. This can be distracting or sometimes disgusting, but please DO NOT stare.
You can handle the situation much better by following this example; there might be situations where you are going into a conference and you want to save your female colleague from embarrassment, you staring at them will be of no help. So just tell her “Hey something stuck in your hair. Why don’t you once check yourself in the mirror.” You will see a woman returning with high regard for you.
Ladies, Why cringe? Because you don’t want to see it? When you see men in jeans so low that the band of their underwear shows! Be it a Calvin Klein or a Rupa, you just don’t want to see it. Similarly, you need to be mindful of what you are wearing to workplace. Make sure that it is neither too revealing nor distracting regardless of western or ethnic wear.
“Talk to your colleague standing at an arm’s length.”
Ladies & Gentlemen, one arm distance please. This rule applies to both men and women equally. Personal space is a sacred thing not just when you are sharing a room or a house but also when standing. Irrespective of the closeness you have with your colleague make sure that you stand at a minimum of an arms distance.
“The only physical contact that is ‘okay’ at workplace is a confident and firm handshake.”
Gentlemen, No you can’t. Unless a woman is fainting you have no other reason to touch a woman at workplace other than a firm handshake.
Ladies, it’s a strict No. Many women tend to playful hit the guys as they ramble but most of the men HATE it, especially when they are not into you. They are embarrassed when such behavior of YOURS draws attention towards THEM! So ladies, just remember that universally appropriate physical touch at workplace is a handshake.
“Never lean over their shoulder to show something on their screen.”
Ladies & Gentlemen, never lean. This rule again applies to both men and women equally. This is the most annoying thing that one can do. As an excuse to explain something or to just point something out people tend to lean over the shoulders with half their body pressed against the chair and bend over cheek to cheek! This is scary and disgusting for many reasons. No questions. Just never do it.
Following these four basic rules of workplace etiquette will make life easier for you and also people around.
P.S: Staying informed on how our innocent actions might cause pain to someone is a sign of responsibility and refraining from such actions is a sign of dignity.