Office rules

Follow the tips given below to make your transition from college to the workplace a wee bit easier, says Santana Fell

By Santana Fell
  • Published 27.11.18, 12:23 AM
  • Updated 27.11.18, 12:23 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Crumpled, untidy and stained clothes do not have a place in office. It is better to wear conservative clothes and not tight or revealing ones even at an office party. Business casual is the vague dress code many offices follow these days. Thinkstock

No one says that the transition from a carefree student to a responsible adult is easy. It is a subtle yet important process fraught with potential pitfalls. These guidelines on basic workplace etiqutte may help make it slightly easier to adjust.

Dress

Always turn up for work appropriately dressed. Keep the makeup and accessories simple and elegant. Crumpled, untidy and stained clothes do not have a place in office. It is better to wear conservative clothes and not tight or revealing ones even at an office party. Business casual is the vague dress code many offices follow these days. Though it says casual, do not turn up in ripped jeans, shorts, off-shoulder dresses or, the latest fad, cold- shoulder ones. Your attire, rightly or wrongly, contributes to your professional image and what you wear should reflect your environment and position. As they say, dress for the job you want.

“Proper grooming is of utmost importance to get the job and sustain your position in a company,” says Cyril Brown, who was the CEO of Jardine Henderson Ltd, the oldest pest control company in India, for 35 years.

“College life is very free and there is not much pressure, but working for a client or with a company is a totally different experience. It involves discipline, punctuality and being proactive,” says Tehzeeb Hossain, synopses writer, Lexiconn Content Services, Calcutta.
“College life is very free and there is not much pressure, but working for a client or with a company is a totally different experience. It involves discipline, punctuality and being proactive,” says Tehzeeb Hossain, synopses writer, Lexiconn Content Services, Calcutta. Thinkstock

Time

You may bunk college on a whim or skip a class because you woke up late but the workplace will give you no such luxury. In quite a few offices, a certain amount may be docked from your pay if you make a habit of reporting late to work. You can’t be late for meetings and missing deadlines is not an option either. If you need leave, apply in advance. Even when calling in sick, it is only polite to let the office know as early as possible.

“College life is very free and there is not much pressure, but working for a client or with a company is a totally different experience. It involves discipline, punctuality and being proactive,” says Tehzeeb Hossain, synopses writer, Lexiconn Content Services, Calcutta.

Email

Emails should be short, to the point, have a succint subject line and be free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Do not use text jargon, abbreviations and smileys. Avoid the “reply all” option if you do not need to respond to everyone. Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours to show professionalism and enthusiasm. Read carefully before sending a mail to make sure no internal confidential details have been included by mistake.

“As a fresher, I misspelled the name of a client on a mail. As soon as I realised that, I apologised and sent a fresh mail with the right spelling,” says Kirandeep Kaur Bedi, PR executive, Candid Communications, Calcutta.

Avoid using your phone for personal calls or to check social media during work hours.
Avoid using your phone for personal calls or to check social media during work hours. Thinkstock

Business meeting

Go to a meeting with a basic knowledge about the client, and be prepared with presentations and a proper agenda. Do not fidget, doodle, tap your foot, drum your fingers or cross your legs. Remember not to interrupt people to make your point; wait for them to complete, then put your point across.

Phone

Avoid using your phone for personal calls or to check social media during work hours. Keep the ringer volume low. Step out for private conversations. When answering official calls, speak clearly, slowly and politely. Do not use the speakerphone.

“At my first job, we had to put away our phones in our lockers. We could use them only during breaks,” says Rita D’cruze, a former BPO employee.