Stay awake, don't steal the pens and quit looking for love at the office

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Eight rules for how to behave at work

By Bob Mueller

We need to have standards and stick to them.

We have to be moral and decent and honest and trustworthy of course. How we behave at work has an effect on our fellow workers.

Here are eight other rules to help you become fantastically successful along the way:

1) Treat your job as important and do it to the very best of your ability.
Don’t stand still but learn all the time. Stay ahead of your industry and new developments. Put in extra hours if you must but don’t be seen to be too hard-working. A laid back approach gains you more respect.

2) Always be on the lookout for ways to improve the lot of everyone rather than just yourself.
Think in terms of “we” rather than “I.”  You are a part of a team and should fit in and be a part effectively and efficiently.

3) Try to spread a little happiness as you go.
Don’t badmouth people. Stick up for the underdog. Compliment people and be genuine about it. Don’t indulge in gossip or snitching. Keep your own counsel and be a bit aloof. It’ll get you promoted.

4) Dress well and try to make a good impression.
Maintain high standards and put in the hours. Try not to go to work to sleep or steal the pens or look for love. You are there to work, so get on with it.

5) Try to be kind to your fellow workers.
They are as lost as you once were. Give them a break, a chance, a bit of slack. Encourage them by example. Be a role model for junior members of staff. Try to understand your boss’ point of view and to see things from the company perspective.

6) Understand the politics of office life.
Don’t get involved, of course, but use it to your own advantage. Don’t be frightened to put yourself forward or to volunteer (just as long as you know what you are volunteering for). There are no kudos in being work-shy. Be proud of being effective and efficient.

7) Know you own boundaries.
 Know how to say “no” and mean it. Don’t let anyone take advantage of your good nature. Be assertive without being aggressive.

8) Enjoy what you do.
Have a passion for your work. Have fun.  

Bob Mueller is the assistant vice president of mission and stewardship at Hosparus. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.