I'll be starting my first proper office job soon, and I just wanted to know if there are any do's and dont's regarding office etiquette and setting a good first impression.

  • 1
    Just a suggestion that I used in my short work story: at least the first days I don't bring my own lunch. In this way I can better know the place and chat a bit with the new colleagues. Just my two cents! :)
    – Enrichman
    Sep 15, 2014 at 10:39
  • meta.workplace.stackexchange.com/a/2695
    – gnat
    Sep 15, 2014 at 12:48
  • 1
    @gnat can i know how this is personalized advice? everybody can benefit from this- don't even know why i'm being downvoted here. thanks for all the "love"
    – Nick
    Sep 15, 2014 at 13:28
  • 1
    Depending on the type of work you may want to bring a small notebook and pen.
    – Alpar
    Sep 16, 2014 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


Key things to do..

  • Make sure you know how to get to the place
  • Make sure you know how long it will take
  • Really. If you're reliant on public transport, have you traveled at rush hour, or only in the middle of the day?
  • Get there a little early. If you get there too early, there'll be no one there to meet you.
  • In addition to being there early, for god's sake don't be late. :)
  • Be aware of the dress code and over-dress slightly. You don't need to overdo it.

I would agree about not bringing your own lunch but only because the less stuff you have to carry and store, the simpler things will be. I'm quite anti-social so would neither want to take lunch with my new team mates or have a new starter sit down to eat with me. Just play it by ear. Ask where the best place to get lunch is and see if you get invites.

After this point, your "new guy" instincts will kick in. We all have them, every last one of us. You'll be (outwardly) keen, a little nervous and won't have a clue where anything is. This phase doesn't last long, so don't panic.

Oh, and welcome to the rest of your life. :)

  • 1
    +1 for not getting there too early. First day of my internship I showed up 2 hours before anybody else in the office. Pretty awkward. Sep 15, 2014 at 11:18
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    +1 for slightly over dressing. Actually, if you are trying to advance it's better to dress at least as well as your boss.
    – NotMe
    Sep 15, 2014 at 20:53

Go with the flow

Watch how your co-workers act in specific scenario's. For example:

Work times are 9 till 5, but noone leaves untill 5:15

Then you might want to work untill 5:15 aswell before leaving and if that bother you, check the next day with your manager as to why noone leaves untill 5:15 and then decide what you will do.

You don't want to be the co-worker who always leaves right on time when the non-written office rules says finish your work then leave.

Don't do anything out of the ordinary untill you know why things go the way they go.

  • that sounds rather extreme though- they might as well put work times "9 till 515?"
    – Nick
    Sep 15, 2014 at 11:00
  • @Nick It may seem extreme, but you are new and were not part of the office while it was formed and molded the way it is now. If you want to fit in, you have to adjust.
    – Kevin
    Sep 15, 2014 at 13:10
  • @JoeStrazzere ah I see. So you mean to say stipulated rules written down are not really the rules that the office follows?
    – Nick
    Sep 15, 2014 at 13:22

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