Nairobi News

LifeWhat's Hot

Office etiquette 101

On average, most people spend about 40 hours a week in the office. That’s a pretty long time, much more than is spent at home with the people they love.

It then follows that that time should be as comfortable and conducive as possible for optimum performance.

I have worked in an open plan office and much as I have enjoyed the ‘close’ interaction and team work it breeds, it also can get very uncomfortable.

If you are guilty of doing the following, stop!

Eating food at the desk

Unless you have enough (and are willing) to share with the entire office, kindly eat your food from the break out room or from the kitchen.

No one needs to be reminded it’s lunch time from the smell of your pizza/samosas/pilau etc.

I once got dizzy from the smell of garlic from someone’s food (I wonder if that would be covered by insurance).

Breakfast is fine, unless of course it has strong aromas, and even then, DON’T SPEAK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!


Please, keep them feet tucked to your shoes, especially during the hot season such as the current one.

Music from the speakers

We all have favorite music and artists. But please, if you need a little inspiration here and there, and Tupac or Bob Marley or such giants does it for you, invest in ear phones.

To the rest of us, it’s noise. A disturbance. Interruption.

Private phone conversations

If we need to hear the fight you’re having with your spouse/partner, then have it on speaker phone.

It’s only fair that we hear both sides of the fight.

Otherwise, walk outside, to an empty boardroom or simply wait until you see that person, and have the fight face to face.


If you need to talk to the creative guy seated 100m from you, simply call them or walk up to their desk.

The exercise will do you good.

Shouting across the office is distractive and uncouth.

Personal space

This is going out to all men who have itchy fingers.

Just because we work together, don’t mean we know each other like that. RESPECT PERSONAL SPACE!

Don’t touch me, any part of my body, my shoulder, my hair, my buttocks etc. It is harassment.

People no longer shake hands, even! Unless I offer you my hand in greeting, please just say Hi and move on.

You’re seated working, trying to, then a heavy hand lands on your shoulder and rests there, one second, two, three, eternity!

A hot, heavy, disgusting hand and you feel yourself gagging. And this coming from a supervisor, or a colleague.

Stop it or be sued for sexual harassment!