Most of us would assume that we are considerate enough to others in our office, but have we ever given it much thought? In order to discuss the idea of whether someone is a considerate co-worker, let’s take a look at the definition of ‘considerate’. Some dictionary definitions can be found, such as,”kind and helpful“, “caring about and respectful of others”, “careful not to inconvenience or harm others” and “showing careful thought”.
How can consideration be shown within the office or workplace?
In order to keep this brief, we will take a look at 5 key behavioural areas which are linked to considerate office behaviour.
Whether you simply wave as you pass someone in the corridor, smile as they perform a daily task around you, or thank your office colleague for popping something on your desk, these are all key parts of showing consideration through positive communication. When we are stuck in our own heads, stressed by our deadlines, focused on something our kids said this morning or are just unaware of how we come across, we miss the opportunity to be considerate by carrying out subtle communication with our office colleagues.
It doesn’t take much effort to be considerate when it comes to cleanliness, but it is often an area which is not equal. Being considerate in the workplace might mean not leaving your teaspoon and coffee spill on the kitchen worktop, ensuring the toilet is left as you’d hope to find it or wiping down crumbs on a meeting table before your colleagues use it. It is often seen as the job of the office cleaner to clear up after you, but this shows a lack of respect and a cleaner might not be the next person to visit the space you have just used.
Have you ever noticed that there are certain people who are always making tea and coffee for others? Does a new cup arrive on your desk every few hours without the need to get up from your computer? Unless you have a rota, or everyone strictly gets themselves a drink, it is likely that there is an imbalance within your office. Although it is true that some like the break from their work to boil the kettle, whilst others prefer to crack on with their particular task, a little reciprocation can go a long way into how considerate you are perceived to be.
Whilst some distraction is welcome within the office environment, it is not always considerate to have too much of it or specific types. Some common forms of distraction which can be deemed inconsiderate include shouting, swearing, slamming of doors, aimless chitchat, mobile phone noises. Others include unnecessary interruptions or questions as well as loud bodily noises such as sniffing or excessive clearing of the throat.
Have you ever got to the photocopier to find the paper has run out, and you have to fill it before you can print your time critical document? How about going to make a cup of tea but the tea bags, sugar or milk has run out? In a fast paced office environment, we are quick to complain when someone else forgets to replace copier paper, report a low stock supply or uses our calculator without returning, but how many of us actually make the effort to ensure we show consideration and replenish for someone else?
For further information on being considerate within the office, check out “7 tips for being a considerate co-worker“.
If your office requires regular office cleaning from a reliable provider, please take a look at our ‘office cleaning‘ page on our website.