Workplace decorum or rather the lack of it

In today’s world of business, fraught with competitiveness and desire to have an edge, I am sometime dismayed by manners in the workplace, or rather the lack of it. 

You must have heard of many rules which have been stated time and again by various professionals regarding corporate etiquettes. Lately we have started questioning those rules in the context of cultural shift towards open work environment and autonomy and most of us quote examples of Google and many such companies where employees are quite at ease in the corporate environment which is a trigger to their enhanced productivity. However, when it comes to our rights and responsibilities, we tend to be more focusing on rights. We even forget that some one’s rights should not become other person’s trouble. There is a thin line difference where decorum is required not because it is a rule but because it is a convenience to others.

I recall of an incident amdist silence and conducive work environment, one of the group started discussing something at the top of their voice obliviious of their surroundings. They unintentially invited attention and disdain from all the people sitting there which was certainly not a good sign and even though most people got disrupted, they chose to keep mum due to various reasons. I believe not saying anything is a mistake, it's just a matter of saying it in the right tone and perspective by being polite yet powerful. Sometimes just a “Shhhhh” works wonders. Office loud talkers are everywhere and use of high decibels while using the phone or during discussions with team members or otherwise is quite common and the worst part is, they probably don't even realize they've been labeled as such. I came across a Video on Google on Office Noise. To watch, click on the link below :
When it comes to closed workplace where we have rooms and cabins, audibility is automatically taken care of but when we are sitting in a cubical, the cubicle next to us is someone else’s office and it’s not just as a matter of decorum but also as a matter of confidentiality attached that we should avoid our discussions in open work space. Cubicles offer very little privacy, so we should not discuss confidential matters there. Meeting rooms are excellent place to hold meetings where confidential information can be exchanged.

Generally space is at premium in open plan office arrangement and organizations provide all logistic support to maintain office decorum like meeting rooms where four or five people can get together so there isn't any socializing distraction to other employees, breakout areas/cafeterias can be used for unofficial meetings. We witness many people being cognizant of the fact that one man’s music is another man’s noise, so they allow others to work in a quiet area and irrespective of their personality adapt to the requirements of professional environment.

Etiquette in the office space is easy to practice if you follow some basic principles. It’s about putting others before you and treating them with respect and courtesy the way you want for yourself. This certainly helps relieve some of the stress and anxiety that comes from the job and help enhance concentration. It is just a matter of common sense and respect and being respectful of  self and others will only create a better work environment.


  1. Agreed with your point that we are giving examples of the organizations that are operating in a different culture and society. What is good for Western Culture is surely not good for our Oriental Culture and vice versa.

  2. Anonymous12:20:00 PM

    It is very righty said that decorum is required to be maintained because when we work in an organization we don't work in isolation we work in coordination so to keep it intact it is complacent that you must maintain discipline in the organisation

  3. Larry Kuhn11:20:00 PM

    I like this post a lot, thanks. Here's some specific direction on a fun topic -- whether it's okay to cuss at work.

  4. Bukhari912:01:00 AM

    Workplace decorum or rather the lack of it due to some reasons which author like to posted here. We can follow the above youtube video which help us more to have clear idea about this issue. Actually, I'm looking a reliable source for custom essays australia but the whole website contain so many different articles on multiple topics as well.