Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Boardroom & Office Etiquette | Past & Present

I have had experiences of working in two very different office environments; for a well-known London-based publishing house and for an insurance company. 

The London-based job was by far the best even though I did have to commute. I was thankful that the company really considered the needs and comfort of its employees and this was apparent by their choice of office furniture. After a long train journey involving sitting against hard seats or worse - standing, having back and lumbar support felt like a dream. The range of office chairs from Calibre would have been absolutely perfect. I would quite happily sink into one of their chairs right now.

In comparison I had to work very hard to get my insurance employer to provide a comfortable chair. Everyone else needed the support too as 90% of the day involved sitting down, but I was pregnant at the time so each day got progressively worse.

There are many ways in which offices and boardroom environments are run these days, dependent on the individual company and a variety of different factors and there are many differences to how they were run in the past, whether it be decades ago or simply a few years.

Smoking in the office: I can remember when cafes and restaurants had a smoking area often beside windows, but with no partition. I can't imagine what it would have been like to share an office with a hazy cloud of smoke.

Timekeeping: boardrooms are often fairly more flexible than they used to be, I bet so many people are incredibly relieved about that. For some companies Friday afternoons are more casual and many employees leave work a little earlier.

Eating at the desk: providing it isn't an incredibly smelly choice of food (tuna, a whole rotisserie chicken...) neighbouring colleagues won't be reaching for the air freshener!

Smart phone dependency: no need to just count on your Mac/PC at your desk, your phone or tablet travels everywhere with you so there is often no excuse to not being able to check emails wherever you are. However, standard and increasingly inventive "out of office" emails are ideal for annual leave and the weekends.

I think this one in particular can really resonate with a variety of office set ups, depending on its own style of communication:

Some offices are comprised of partitions between desks, some have individual offices and some have a very much open-plan layout so direct communication between internal colleagues is much easier. With some companies running from different parts of the world, online communication is perfect to keep everything up to date and meetings can run well (depending on wifi!).

How many of these examples of boardroom and office etiquette can you relate to?

Collaborative  post: all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


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