How to not overstep the mark at work
It’s important to be comfortable at your workplace, but it’s equally important not to get too comfortable. Here’s our handy guide to making sure you don’t step over the line at work.
Be reliable and punctual - Sometimes life gets in the way, everyone knows that. But, a bit of common sense and managing people’s expectations will go a long way in ensuring you don’t consistently let people down.
Okay ✅ There’s a crash on the M6 and the traffic is a nightmare, so you call your manager to let them know you’re going to be late.
Not okay ❌ You’re late every week because you don’t account for the heavy traffic on your route to work.
Don’t assume one rule fits all -You don’t know your colleagues’ individual circumstances, so don’t assume that because they can do something, it means that you can too.
Okay ✅ You’ve hurt your foot, so you ask your manager if you can wear comfier shoes for the next few days whilst it heals.
Not okay ❌ You see Linda from Marketing wearing trainers, so you vow to wear yours whenever you want from now on.
Don’t take advantage of flexibility -A good workplace is flexible, but that doesn’t mean you can take advantage of that flexibility.
Okay ✅ You have an appointment at 5.15, so you ask to leave a little early to make it on time.
Not okay ❌ Your manager let you leave 15 minutes early for your appointment last week, so you assume she won’t mind if you do it again… and again… and again…
Don’t gossip - It’s not always possible to get along with everybody 100% of the time, but there’s a correct way to handle these situations.
Okay ✅ You’re having some issues with one of your colleagues, so you explain them to your manager in a private meeting.
Not okay ❌ You’re having some issues with one of your colleagues, so you complain about them to Linda from Marketing by the watercooler.
Be helpful and pro-active - It’s okay to say no sometimes but try to help out your colleagues wherever you can. Just because something isn’t in your job description doesn’t mean you can’t lend a helping hand.
Okay ✅ Your colleague asks you for a favour, but you’re absolutely swamped as it is. So, you apologise and explain that you have way too much to do and ask if there’s any way somebody else could do it.
Not okay ❌ Your colleague asks you for a favour, but it’s not in your job description. So, you say, “That’s not my job, Linda.”
There are thousands of possible examples, but you really only need to stick to one rule to avoid crossing the line: don’t take the mick!
Treat your workplace and your colleagues with respect and they will return the favour (if it’s a good workplace anyway… find out how to spot the great ones here)