Survey finds office courtesy blunders

Nov. 26, 2011 at 4:00 AM   |   Comments

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A California staffing company said its survey of office workers found breaches of etiquette including lunch theft and sneezing into the boss' coffee.

Robert Half International, a specialized staffing company in Menlo Park, said its survey of 430 U.S. office workers over the age of 18 found workers had witnessed breaches of workplace etiquette including a worker throwing papers into the air while collaborating on a project and shouting "forget this."

Another worker reported seeing a colleague take a picture of a coworker sleeping at her desk and sending it to the boss, while another said a coworker was spotted purposefully sneezing into the boss' coffee.

Workers also complained of colleagues stealing lunches, clipping their nails at their desks, walking around the office barefoot, shouting at customers and mocking the work of other employees in public.

"In most cases, a minor etiquette slipup won't likely be career-limiting if you quickly acknowledge it and learn from your mistake," said Brett Good, a senior district president for Robert Half International. "But continual missteps have a cumulative effect that can chip away at your professional reputation and get in the way of advancement."

The company said the survey was conducted to coincide with the release of its video series, "Don't Let This Happen to You," which offers advice on avoiding common breaches of workplace etiquette.

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