Things to Learn and Remember When Working in an Office

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Career Advice

More often than not, “going to work” means going to an office for many millennials. We’re surrounded by colleagues and cubicles on the daily. But, there’s a lot to take away from an office setting that isn’t just about the actual work. Here’s a few lessons:


Clean up after yourself
Nobody likes the coworker who doesn’t clean up after him or herself. You’re not the only person using communal space here, i.e. the fridge, the coffee pot, the microwave, the bathroom… you get the picture. And then there’s the K-Cup that gets left in the Keurig when you’re finished using the Keurig. Throw away your K-Cup — someone else needs to use the Keurig today. Take a paper towel and dust the sugar off the counter. Put your lunch away. It takes little to no effort.

Don’t forget to log out
Everyone forgets from time to time. But, how would you feel if when signing on to a shared computer, someone else’s Google account login information was saved… and the next thing you know, you’re signed in to a coworker’s Gmail account? Not saying that the occasional check of the personal email or GChat or even social media doesn’t happen. But it’s just awkward for everyone when you’re looking, even accidentally, at someone else’s stuff… and the same goes for someone else looking at your stuff.

The temperature isn’t always ideal
What may be comfortable for you more than likely isn’t comfortable for your cubicle neighbor. If you find yourself feeling warm, carry your water bottle. Step outside to get some air. Go to the bathroom to splash cold water on your face. If you’re more prone to be cold, carry a sweater. Bring a hot beverage. Pack extra socks. And if all that doesn’t work and you absolutely cannot take it anymore, politely — without making an announcement to the entire office — let a supervisor know that you’re uncomfortable.

Working with other people isn’t always easy
You’re going to have different personalities working on a project — it’s inevitable. It’s possible you won’t get along with everyone. There’s even the potential that one person will pull more of his or her weight than others. It sucks. But you learn to deal with it if you want to keep your job.

Time management is key
When you’re in an office, you aren’t on your own time — you’re on their time. And as a result, you have to manage it, possibly differently than you’d normally manage your own time. You have to take the schedules of others into consideration when completing assignments. While it’s not always possible to plan out your entire day at the office, plan as much of it as possible. You, your colleagues, and your boss will work better for it.

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