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Office Allied Forces - Keeping the Peace

By James Stone 12 / 07 / 16
  • Every office is a unique and diverse environment. Its inhabitants spend the majority of their time in this desk filled jungle, with other animals who, unlike a housemate or partner, they have not chosen to co-exist with. All of whom have different lifestyles, values and habits.

    These desk monkeys are tasked with working as a team each day towards the overall goal of improving the company which they all represent. It is therefore essential that you consider how your actions are going to affect others during the 9-5, acting as your most considerate self.

  • Whether you see it as essential guidance or a necessary evil. You need to get some things down in writing. The key to a good sign is the punctuation, getting the right tone can often make a big difference to the effectiveness of a sign. So think carefully before pressing caps lock, ctrl + B and SHOUTING AT YOUR COLLEAGUES, or adding exclamation points to your polite printouts!!

    Be wary of the number of signs around the workplace, too many may result in sign blindness. Be concise.

  • Your allocated space within the office is an area for concentration and productivity. Your area can vary in size, shape and privacy.

    The productive office worker needs to be comfortable and be able to work in this space, however, some odours and sound waves that are emitted often drift beyond your personal boundaries. This is something to be gauged based upon the people close to the immediate fallout zone, as we all have different tolerance levels.

    It can be particularly tough to address problems with smell and noise. A direct approach is often the best course of action, and keeping a good relationship to help counteract any unintentional grievances.

  • A tedious part of every office day, the daily bombardment consisting of internal messages, marketing junk and those rare messages that are actually relating to genuine business.

    There is an email that some people love to receive and some people can’t stand……I’m talking about the “Thank you” email. This is completely down to personal preference and individual personality, but get this wrong and you can feel the ripples of anger washing over the office.

    Mistakes to avoid at all costs

    CC’ing others into your “thank you”’ emails
    You are essentially the physical embodiment of spam to those that have wasted an unnecessary click upon your email! On the other hand, an email of thanks or acknowledgement is often essential to avoid future overlooks or mistakes (just make sure you check the recipient list before clicking send)!

    Grammar and spelling errors
    This doesn’t wind everybody up, but the people that it does really, really hate grammar and spelling errors. So just run your email through a word processor before hitting send!

  • This is a big one…. Even the most peaceful of workplaces can dissolve into chaos if someone messes with the delicate caffeine and food supply balance required to keep everyone functioning.

    Labelling food in a communal fridge with anything other than your name is asking for trouble. There is something about a polite note that brings out the malevolence in people! So just keep it simple, and don’t be the person that brings pickled fish and blue cheese for lunch.

    You will be made to sit on your own.

    In the Direct Imaging office the main cause of grumbles in the kitchen is unclaimed tupperware and levels of cleanliness. The best practise in the shared kitchen is to clean up your mess to the standard of the tidiest person using said kitchen. Not always achievable, as the more people sharing the harder it becomes to maintain. However anyone who has lived in shared accommodation at university will appreciate how important this is to the office sanity.

    When the bin starts to be mistaken for a jenga tower it is time to take action.

  • Any office quarrel, feud or annoyance is best avoided by tactful communication. As much as you think that you are the perfect co-worker, chances are you are doing someones head in. To prove this theory I ask something very dangerous of you, an office experiment……

    Ask your office to submit their biggest gripes anonymously, and then tweet us your findings to @DirectImaging using the hashtag #HappyOffice