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You’re squashed between long desks, your neighbor is gossiping while you’re trying to stay away from distraction, as you have a deadline. Welcome to the open office world! Workspaces are narrowing down and private space is no more private. While start-ups can’t afford private cubicles for each, giant ventures encourage open-office concept to strengthen amity among employees. If you’re also a member of open-office concept, then these open-office etiquettes might be handy for you.

1. Is this a trash bin?

The foremost thing you need to learn about open-office behavior is to keep yourself and your desk clean. Keep your never-used stationary, candy wrappers, photo frames, out of sight. They do not look pretty from any angle!

2. Is that a GI Joe?

Keep your hall-of-fame collection limited to your home walls. Even if you think that the photo of Beyonce or Obama will benefit everyone, don’t place them on the desk. Personal mementos, favorite Star Wars figures, or anything like this, can look lame, even if you think they’re cool.

3. Tissue, please:

If you’re sick, don’t bother to disturb your neighbor with a loud sneeze or a gruesome cough. Work from home if possible and maintain distance from others, as they are not in the mood to get sick. Don’t complain about your sickness to others, they too have work to do! And yes, bring your own tissues, for god sake!

4. Please keep it down!

Noise nuisance is the biggest barrier in open-office space. Please, don’t wear headphones as an accessory, unless you’re a musician! This looks cools only outside office. Yes, you may be in Taylor Swift mode, but your next-seat coworker may be busy in work, so keep your love for music only for your ears.

5. Can you shut up?

Don’t make your coworkers pour these sweet yet heart-burning words on you. Understand that you’re sharing office space with everyone. Keep your calls short. Use private rooms to have long converse. Or just take a stroll outside the office if you want to yell.

6. The Chatter Box:

You can’t escape office gossip, especially when working in open-office. Some enjoy chattering while some strictly keep it out-of-window. Don’t be loud or intolerable. If you’re having fun in gossiping, it does not mean your desk mates too would love to chit-chat. And likewise, don’t whisper while on the desk! You’re not in the hospital!

7. Can you turn it off?

You can’t pass a day peacefully without your smartphone in the office. Surely, you might have loads of followers on Fb, Twitter, or Instagram. But don’t brag about it by constantly getting notifications on your phone. Yes, even that loud “silent vibration” ring, is annoying at work!

8. Learn to wait:

Sometimes coworkers might not be available at the moment to discuss the project with you. You’re working in an open-office, but act as if you’re in a private office. If someone is busy at the moment, leave a note.

9. Respect privacy:

Take your personal talks outside the office. And in case you hear something from your desk mate, not intended for your ears, keep it restricted to yourself. Respect each other’s privacy.

10. It’s you who took the job!

Lastly, if you think that you can’t survive in the open-office, remind yourself that it was you who accepted this job. Just clean yourself and desk, leave your food or air fresheners outside desk and you’re ready to start a new day in the office!

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