Office etiquette

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Office Etiquette is the written and unwritten rules that make an office run smoothly. The rules listed below may or may not apply to your office. Different sizes and styles of offices have different rules. Larger offices will generally be more strict and smaller ones less so. Additionally offices where people do not have permanent cubes will have different etiquette regarding them.

Air Conditioning Etiquette

Temperature should be constantly held at 22(c) unless there is a fire in the building.

General Etiquette

  • Be respectful of others' personal life choices.
  • Follow general etiquette of the region you are in, or the region you believe to be in.
    • Example: Snapping at someone is rude in some parts of the US, whilst ripping someone's earlobe off and chewing it whilst removing your shirt is a term of endearment in Scotland.
  • Avoid using profanity.
  • Use cell phone only where it will not disturb the already disturbed.
  • Reload the printer with paper when it is empty
  • Don't read others printouts or faxes.
  • Keep perfume and cologne to a minimum
  • Keep workspace tidy
  • Keep common areas clean
  • Do not keep distracting someone if they are busy

Email Etiquette

  • Forwards should only be sent to your boss, your mom and your cat. Your cat doesn't have an email address? What kind of a sick lunatic are you???
  • Avoid using a religious signature. Instead opt for an extremist signature, such as 'Allah shall rain down a plague of staples upon ye!'
  • Be aware that sarcasm and other humor often fails in email and may insult people. Use this knowledge wisely.
  • Avoid 1337 language. Many companies have a policy that punishes such an act with a rain of fire on your house. And then a rain of fire on you. Crispy.

Social Etiquette

  • Say hello or nod when passing people in common areas, unless, of course, they are common.
  • Hold doors. Perpetually.
    • An exception is entering secure areas, when you should prop the door open with an intern.
  • Attempt to have good relationships with your cube neighbors. Avoid your spherical neighbours at all costs. Them folk are weird...
  • Do not feed the office-supply junkies, unless so asked to.
  • Never split infinitives in the moronic way evident above. Man that really rides my goat.

Cubicle Etiquette


Don’t stare. It is impolite.

  • If you are eating at your desk make sure you're eating something noticeably big to instill envy and fury amongst your colleagues. Like a plate of Strawberry cows.
  • Don't use PC speakers. PC speakers annoy everyone. Get a decent stereo instead.
  • Don't have a conversation over someone else’s cube. Move the cube first.
  • Keep personal calls to a minimum unless you don't like paying for your home phone bill.
  • Break wind in a bag or similar container. Release at an appropriate time or dispose of at your local Municipal Fart Depot.

Break Area

  • Do not leave items to rot in the fridge. It's more interesting for everyone if they rot in the open, where more people can enjoy the miracle of decay.
  • Do not leave items in the sink, this includes fart bags.
  • Make a new pot of coffee if you finish the last one. If you're feeling lazy, you can simply fill the old pot with more coffee. This also minimises coffee-pot waste.
  • Do not break the break room. The break room is for having breaks in, and not for breaking things in, or breaking the room itself. This would break the break room etiquette, kapeesh?


  • Do not attend meetings. You will help the company more by sleeping in your cubicle.
  • If you happen upon a meeting, do a convincing impression of the fire alarm to free the trapped worker-bees inside. You may add to this effect by dousing your agenda in petrol and exposing to a naked flame.

Hygiene Etiquette

  • Regularly groom, this includes grooming others.
  • If you must engage in kitten huffing, do so only with sterilised kittens.
  • If you're ill, it's best to infect as many colleagues as possible to allow them the same sick-day privileges as you.

Office Language

However, do realise the importance of staff being able to properly express their feelings when communicating with other employees. With this in mind, the Human Resources section has compiled a list of code-phrase replacements so that the proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective manner, without risking offense to our more sensitive co-workers.

No fucking way I’m fairly sure that's not feasible
You're fucking joking mate Really!
Tell someone who gives a shit That’s not my department!
No body fucking told me about it I wasn't involved in that project
I haven't the fucking time Perhaps I can work late
Who fucking cares Are you sure that's a problem?
Eat shit and die You don't say
Eat shit and die, arsehole You don't say, Sir
Kiss my arse So, you’d like me to help you?
He’s a fucking wanker He’s somewhat insensitive
She’s a ball-busting bitch She’s an aggressive go-getter
You haven’t got a fucking clue You could use more training
This place is all fucked up We’re a little disorganised today
What sort of wanker are you? You're new here, aren’t you?
Piss off shithead Well, there you go
You're a wanker You're my supervisor, and I respect you
Ha, suck eggs shit face! I wasn't there that day
Fuck off! I’m busy I’ll look into it and get back to you
How did you get this piece of shit to work? Well done!

See Also

Public Information: Bad Day At The Office.

External Links

How to deal with an office Dullard

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