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25 people share the unspoken rules in workplaces that are sure to help everyone

Knowing these 25 rules might be helpful for graduates who are straight out of college or people who are starting new careers.

25 people share the unspoken rules in workplaces that are sure to help everyone
Cover Image Source: Reddit | u/waronwolves

At every stage of our jobs, we observe a few unsaid rules. Knowing these rules might be helpful for graduates who are straight out of college, people starting new careers or even those who struggle to grasp these unspoken rules in their existing careers. These rules will help you navigate your workplace more smoothly and efficiently.

Image Source: Pexels/fauxels
Representative Image Source: Pexels/fauxels

Reddit user u/ShineAfsheen asked, "What is an unspoken rule in the workplace that everyone should know?" The post has garnered 7.8k upvotes and over 4.5k comments as many people wanted to know the answer to this question and others volunteered to answer from their own experience. Not all these comments will help everyone, but everyone can take something from these comments. 

We bring you the 25 most interesting responses to the question of unspoken rules at the workplace.


"If you're a woman, don't bring treats in/set up lunches/throw parties and events unless the men are doing it too, or you'll turn in to the office mom/caregiver and that hurts your career prospects. I followed this rule staunchly for a while, then gave in a few times, and now my boss comes to me for all of it, even though there are plenty of men on the team that could do it but don't or won't. Even after pointing out to my boss that he does this, and him realizing how that looks, he still defaults to me." -u/squindy9


"The chatty self-proclaimed expert: knows nothing. The one gen Xer that doesn't talk to anyone ever unless absolutely required: they know everything." -u/mrhyde_is_awake


"If you're coming into a new job, take a minute to soak everything in and watch the dynamic. Sometimes people have a flow. They come in, get their stuff done and leave with minimal contact. If you want to celebrate birthdays and get people together you might want to observe and see if people are into that before pushing for it. I, for one, don't want to spend any more time with my coworkers, especially outside of work." —u/tealc20


"Management never want staff discussing salaries because it allows them to pay folks less. If you can discuss salaries without it being ego driven and selfish, then your peers will make more."  -u/sdraidev


"If you are being trained for a position, accept the training. If you act like you already know it all (even if you do) people won’t share the little things that may be unique to that situation that make things easier."


"Pizza is not a raise. Do not be bought out by pizza and think everything is okay." - u/foofyloo


"Take all your vacation days." - u/pinkmongoose


"That person who tells you the most interesting 'news' from around the office is the last person with whom you should discuss any of your personal business!" —u/ipauseforhurricanes


"Write every email as if you were to read it out loud in court." - u/WaronWolves


"The real way to get a raise is to change companies." - u/Kevin-W


"Don’t give details about why you are sick or going on vacation when asking your manager for time off. They do not need to know in order to determine whether or not you can take the time off. People love judging if your time off is 'worthy' so don’t give them the chance. You also can report a manager to HR if they deny sick time (at least in the US, I’ve seen people fired over this)." -u/j3llydonut


"If you work in an environment where you replace other workers (E.g. a hospital), arrive on time. My time is just as important as yours. You might not think that arriving two or three minutes late is an issue, but I become irrationally angry when this happens. You’re taking MY time now." -u/didddily98


"Always drink two non alcoholic drinks before starting in with any alcohol at any work social functions. Give everyone else a head start so you never become the drama discussed the next day. Or don’t drink at all."  -u/ptpoa120000


"We are not actually a family." - u/morenoid5


"Treat new hires with respect. One of them might end up your superior sooner than you know." - u/contessamiau


"No 8:00 a.m. meetings or 4:00 p.m. meetings." —u/jaysakic99


"My workplace rule is don't ask Kevin about crop circles if you don't want to be held hostage at his desk for an hour or so. We tell the new people but curiosity always wins out and they get given the two-hour presentation about aliens during work time... Why do we keep Kevin, you ask? Because he's the only guy that can fix certain things so it's cheaper to just keep him happy and give him new victims to lecture to once in a while." -u/delicious_ad_3530


"Please turn off the audio on your computer or leave headphones plugged into it. There is nothing more annoying than the constant pinging whenever your neighbor gets a new email come in."  — u/friedbean4


"Anonymous surveys aren’t anonymous." - u/warm_gravy


"Use all of the company benefits!! I have met so many people who don’t take advantage of the free stuff their company offers because they never read the benefit plan or perks page. You may find out your plan covers massages or that you get free gym memberships and subscriptions that you’d otherwise pay for yourself." - u/j3llydonut


"If you notice an office culture of various people bringing snacks to share, like donuts or cupcakes, don’t be a mooch or piggy. Always taking and not contributing can make for hard feelings. Don’t take more than one until everyone has had some. Just because there are five varieties doesn’t mean you should take one of each." - u/maninkine


"HR is not your friend. Source: I am HR. I am not your friend, I sometimes would like to be, but it would be like a doctor dating patients. I view us as being on the same team and want to win together and am focused on how to help us all win. I am rare. Again, HR is not your friend." - u/Lurker4longtime


"Your energy and perception within the team are more important than actual performance. Nobody likes the pencil pusher, but people love the average but fun person to be with." - u/Xavage1337


"Never assume something's been done. Always ask the question, always double check. Spending that five minutes extra and finding out the report has been sent or that bolt has been tightened is always worth doing. Because if you assume and it hasn't been done, that could spell disaster for you." - u/tuxedotucker2779


"Don’t talk about work during lunch break. Give people (and yourself) some rest!" - u/thiccyeon

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