We have all experienced an awkward office moment we wished had never happened. Trying to avoid these moments is easier said than done; we cannot predict how our colleagues or managers will react to things, nor can we help it if someone pulls out your chair as you are about to sit down! But what we can do, is prepare ourselves for the most commonly experienced awkward office moments in a bid to take all necessary precautions to avoid them like the plague.
1. Never ‘Assume’ the Obvious is True
A fatal mistake made by office workers is to assume and then speak; just because your female client looks pregnant, it doesn’t mean she is! Avoid saying anything without having the facts first.
2. Wardrobe Failures
A common mistake made by so many is a wardrobe failure; this not only refers to wearing a hideous ensemble, it also refers to instances when your clothes have a breakdown. Finding your sock stuffed up your sleeve, your shirt hanging out of your crotch zipper, or an unattractive ladder in your tights will definitely get you noticed, but for all the wrong reasons.
3. Falling Flat
Tripping over in the office is one of the biggest cringe moments. Make sure you look where you are walking, wear sensible heels, and if the worst case scenario happens and you do trip over – own it. There is nothing worse than a person tripping over and trying to disguise it as a jog or a skip.
4. Presenting Faux Pas
When giving a presentation to your manager or important clients, make sure you have nothing lurking between your teeth, bloodied tissue stuck to your neck from shaving, or ‘bed hair’. You want your audience’s attention to be focused on what you are saying, not what you look like.
5. Spilling your Morning Coffee
We know it’s early in the morning, you are probably still half asleep and your caffeine hasn’t quiet kicked in yet, but try to avoid spilling your coffee all over the table, or worse your keyboard.
6. Swinging on your Chair
Just don’t do it. Why take the risk of doing a summersault in the air while your chair topples over? A chair is for sitting on, not swinging on folks.
7. Restroom faux pas
For goodness sakes – check your feet as you exit the restroom! Trailing toilet paper behind you is cringe worthy and humiliating. While you are checking your shoes for unwanted toilet paper, check that your clothes are fastened up properly and your skirt isn’t tucked into your pants.
8. Accidental emails
One of the most awkward moments, and potentially career destroying, is when you accidentally send an email ‘bad mouthing’ your colleague, to that colleague! It takes about 2 seconds to check the ‘to’ field in your email, so do yourself a favour and make sure your email is going to the right person.
9. Mobile Ring Tones
If you insist on having Justin Beiber as your ringtone, at least have the decency to put your phone on silent (or vibrate) during office meetings.
10. Dating Co-workers
You may have found your soul mate, but you may also create some of the most awkward office moments if you have a tendency for public displays of affection. Try to keep your new found romance to a discreet minimum while at work; avoid saying ‘I love you’ every time you pass each other, and never kiss in the office.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!