Every job I’ve worked since 2012 has somehow involved going to an office. Needless to say, it’s an environment I’m used to.
For those who aren’t necessarily accustomed to an office setting, I would advise working in one at some point over the course of your career, and here’s why:
You learn to clean up after yourself… even more so than you did in college, living with roommates.
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. My No. 1 pet peeve here? 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.
If you’re on a shared computer, 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 -– again, guilty. 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.
When you’re happy with the temperature, someone else undoubtedly isn’t…. and vice versa.
I always carry my water bottle in case I’m hot. I step outside to get some air. I go to the bathroom and splash cold water on my face. And if I absolutely can’t take it anymore to the point where my work is affected (which has happened), I send a polite chat to the floor supervisor letting him know that I’m “so sorry to bother [him] but I am truly very hot. Is there anything [he] can do?”
And finally, you learn to work with other people.
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.