Top 10 Contemporary Office Hazards

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There is a range of mechanical, physical, chemical, electrical and psychological hazards that office workers may be exposed to. Sometimes there are hazards at our workplace that make it challenging for us to enjoy our job and its surrounding working environment.

 Dress Code:

Never wear jeans, athletic apparel or athletic footwear. Offensive T-shirts, distracting jewelry and rips in clothing are not appropriate in a business professional dress code. Women adhering to a business professional dress code should avoid shirts that expose cleavage and back areas. Shorts are never allowed in a business professional dress code. Head wear is not permitted in a business professional dress code unless it is for religious significance.

  Flirty Eyes:

Office flirting, when not agreed upon by both parties frequently becomes what is known as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not tolerated by most companies typically resulting in termination of a person’s position. Sexual harassment is the act of making a person uncomfortable because of sexual connotation, be it physically or verbally. This could be anything from a co-worker saying someone else is attractive, to physically touching another co-worker inappropriately.

 Escaping Gossip:

If someone tells you something, either say that you don’t want to be a part of gossip or don’t give any feedback. People will almost always go with not giving any feedback, only because they don’t want to offend the other person. Pretend to be busy with work. You can always open and old file and start typing away, or begin to take papers and sort them while putting them in your organizers to shut yourself from indulging in gossip.


When people complain, they focus only on what’s wrong. The glass maybe ‘half full’ in the company, but complainers only talk about the problems, annoyances and peeves they perceive. The more you complain, the easier it gets. In the end, everything is bad, every situation is a problem, every co-worker is offensive and nothing is good. Not only does constant complaining make you see the workplace  worse than it really is, but because you’re constantly hearing stories of how bad things are and how they’re constantly getting worse it also destroys all hope that things can get better. People who complain together unite against the world and can create strong internal relationships based on this. But these relationships are based mostly on negative experiences. That’s not healthy.


Whenever you hear yourself blaming a coworker for a problem, stop! Blaming others for any problem is an incredibly pernicious habit. Yes, there are bad things that happen at work. But the people who succeed are the people who don’t waste their time looking for someone or something to blame, but instead look to themselves for a solution to the problem.

 Cheesy Ringtones:

Should you have a psychological need to use a cutesy or outrageous ring tone while away from your job, be very careful when you are at work. Either keep your cell phone on vibrate at all times at work or change to a more professional ring tone during your work day. Along with annoying both co-workers and supervisors, a silly ring tone can negatively impact your career by displaying a less than professional, serious image to management.

 Up-close and Personal:

Personal issues including family problems, life changing situations, emotional difficulties, illness, and even one’s sexual orientation, can impact your job and ultimately your ability to advance your career. Try as you might to keep your private life separate from your work life, inevitably one may begin to run into the other. Learn how to keep personal issues from negatively affecting your job and career.

 The Etiquette of the Cubicle:

Showing consideration to colleagues in an open plan office will only work if you all adopt a mutual respect for each other. Allow yourself to be accessible to others but adopt clearly understood signals for when you’re busy and don’t wish to be disturbed. Keep your desk tidy. This is especially important if you are sharing an open plan desk and show courtesy when using any shared spaces. Be careful when having conversations. Don’t speak too loudly in shared workspaces as you may be interrupting another fellow worker from getting on with their work and never shout to a colleague who’s at a workstation several feet away to attract their attention.

Borrowing: Never borrow without asking first. It is imperative that you ask and then borrow. This attitude of yours will ensure that people also treat your things with the same respect and your things are not missing (read borrowed) when you get back to your seat after a meeting!


Reading other people’s e-mails, faxes or letters is never a good practice! Even if this person is sitting in an open space and you assume that what they have on their desk is open for being shared for everyone. Well, you are wrong!


                                                                                                                            Regina Inani

Senior Staffing Specialist

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