Top Tips For Surviving Office Life

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The modern office isn’t quite a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it’s not always pleasant, either. If your workspace, your co-workers, office equipment, or that sinking feeling of not getting anything done needs fixing, here are some possible remedies.

Make a Good First Impression

The same thing is true for every job. Make your mistakes big and make ‘em quick. Just learn from the experience and keep going.

Get the Important Stuff done… Before email Does You In

Sometimes it’s 4 p.m. and you still, somehow, haven’t really tackled the most important task on your list? It often happens this way because you get sucked into everyone else’s dilemmas without giving yourself time to sit down and focus. Don’t check email for the first hour; apply yourself to the big issues first.

Make Your Space Better

You can’t just ask for the best location in the office, but you can make the area where you do your job much more agreeable with small changes. Consider getting some stylish desk accessories, make ergonomic changes, and find yourself some hard-to-kill plants

Ignore People… Really

Many offices have an environment where not immediately responding to an internal memo, email, or over-the-cubicle “Can I just have a word” is seen as rude or un-team-like. So why not try creating a culture, even if you are the only member, in which work is valued and messages are replied to at sane intervals.

Be sociable

You’re probably going to be stuck elbow-to-elbow with those around you for at least forty hours a week, so you might as well learn to get along with them Part of doing a good job is forming the bonds, connections and relationships that we all need, so walk around the office now and again, chat with colleagues or pop your head into a co-worker’s office to just say hello.

Document things

Nothing saves or reinforces a job or career more than having a written record. If you believe an issue will come back to haunt you, make sure you keep a record of the matter. This is also an effective way to highlight of your own accomplishments, which can always help at your performance evaluation.

Stay away from gossip

Nothing destroys the dynamics of an office more than gossip. Stay away from it, because nothing good comes from it. Don’t judge or repeat it, but keep an ear open, you might even pick up a few useful rumours or secrets that could work to your advantage someday.

Be helpful

We all have tasks and responsibilities, those things should receive priority. Nonetheless, if it doesn’t take too much time, being helpful to others can reap benefits for you. If you can help someone, especially if you can do so without taking too much of your time, you benefit yourself as well as the other person, you’re building political capital and loyalty.

Know who to go to

Find out who does what, everyone in the office is the right person for something. They have the experience, the form, the docket, the knowledge or the key to make something happen in the easiest manner possible.

Don’t Burn Bridges

It’s easy to think “See you, suckers!” when you land another great gig, or can just see freedom coming up around the bend. But stay friendly with co-workers, customers and suppliers; it’s a small investment in what might be great resources for favours in the future.

A few Snippets of Office Wisdom

Don’t yell at the printer. It can’t hear you.

If you’re tired and a team member says, “Here, take this. It’ll keep you awake.” Decline immediately.

If you can’t put it into a PowerPoint presentation, no one will care about it. If you can, however trite it is, there will a note about your “exceptional effort” at your next review.

Office pranks are only funny until someone gets hurt. Then they’re hilarious.

Never start a sentence with “Actually”, people will label you as a know it all. It’s ok if the person you’re talking to is named Ashley, they might not notice.

The stapler is not a weapon.

If you’ve got a problem with something, speak up. Otherwise, you just get stuck in a cycle.

Laugh it off, stay level headed, and maintain your sense of humour.

The UK Office Direct Blog, a history





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