On workplace etiquette

On workplace etiquette

We at Neptune strive to make the best software. Written in clean, maintainable and professional code. We spend a lot of our time learning and discussing it. But there is a topic that is often not paid enough attention to, and we must regularly remind job applicants, new recruits, and yes, even us old hands: workplace etiquette.

A pleasant, professional and effective workspace is the brick and mortar of a sustainable business that makes us and our customers happy.

In this post, I will tell you about Neptune's most crucial workplace do's and don'ts in a short and actionable fashion. It is not meant to be exhaustive, as one could write entire books about the topic. Well, people actually have! In fact, I will list a few more resources at the end of the post.

I encourage everyone to study these. It is the only way to truly understand and become a professional.

Be on time. Always.
You being 5 minutes late for a five people meeting means 25 lost minutes for the company and a whole lot of frustration in the team.

Respect “the flow”
People need time to focus and attend to a task uninterruptedly. Changing the topic too frequently makes us uneffective and stressed. So please, avoid interrupting your colleagues too often.
And don't interrupt them when they wear headphones. It is often a signal that they need time for themselves. Instead, message or E-Mail them, and ask to attend to you when they are free.

Respect our working hours
We work from Monday to Friday. Weekends and holidays are there to rest.
For some people working is rest, that's ok, but then that's their choice. Do not call or ask them for help during that time.

Be pleasant
Just keep in mind that there are people around you. Please speak softly, avoid listening to loud music or eat crunchy foods. Stick to the places and timings where this is okay.

In meetings
Always pay attention and put your phone on silent. It interrupts the flow of the conversation when suddenly someone's phone rings. Especially, when we do web-conferences, checking your phone can come across as very rude or disinterested. In these inter-cultural settings, show attention and professionalism!

Open, honest and respectful
Tell people what you think. Confront difficult situation in an honest, open and courteous manner. No one gains if you are silently frustrated.

Finally, I don't want to re-invent the wheel. It follows a list of resources that are extremely useful concerning workplace etiquette. Go through them! And if you stumble upon a problem that is not answered in these (like how to properly pair-program or how to master video calls), then Google them or start a discussion. But never endure it!

Book: The Clean Coder (We have it in the office)
HubSpot's Culture Deck
Netflix's Culture Deck