Manners Matter: Business Etiquette Tips for IT Pros

Working in an office has many positives, but its not without its downsides.

For example, you're on deadline and focused on finishing your project when your colleague pops his head over the cubicle wall to ask you a question -- for the fifth time this morning. Or you sit by the lunchroom and are treated daily to the smell of reheated fish. (What is tempting about reheated fish? This has always been a mystery to me.) These are just a few situations you might encounter in an office environment, and they aren't always simple to navigate. A recent article by Robert Half Technology's senior executive director, John Reed, has some business etiquette tips to help. For breakroom dilemmas, from fishy smells to missing meals in the office fridge, Reed suggests checking in with your group's administrative assistant or office manager. He or she may be better able to handle these somewhat delicate situations. Noise pollution, especially in an open office environment, is another challenging issue. How do you get your coworker to turn down his music? Reed suggests noise-cancelling headphones. Just be sure you don't wear them all the time or you'll appear anti-social. You also might politely ask your coworker if she could bring it down a few notches while you finish up a project. Explain that as awesome as her music is (you just love Miley Cyrus!), it's hard to focus on the task at hand. And that colleague who keeps popping his head in to ask you questions? Let him know you'd be happy to answer all of his questions, but you'd like to do it all at once instead of one at a time. Give him a few times that are open in your schedule. Take a look at Reed's full article for more business etiquette tips and suggestions for handling these challenging situations.

Tags: Career RX