Making your office a better place to work starts with you, and here are five new year's resolutions that can help.

We spend a lot of time in the workplace. It's called life. That means you are spending a lot of time with co-workers. In fact, during the week we all generally spend more time with our co-workers than we do our own families. That being the case, if everyone would commit to some good common sense workplace practices, it would make everyone happier -- and probably be more productive.

It all starts with me -and you. Let's commit to being better people and make the workplace a better place to be.

  • 1

    BE ON TIME

    ThinkStock

    There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who are on time, and those that aren't. If you have a 2:00 appointment, don't show up at 2:03, or 2:10. For one thing, it is very unprofessional. If you have a 10:00 meeting, don't show up at 10:05 and make everyone else wait.

    Everybody's time is valuable and precious, and should be respected --and, of course, this doesn't apply only to the workplace. It's a good rule of thumb in all aspects of life.

  • 2

    RESPOND

    ThinkStock

    Electronic communication has done wonders for workplace efficiency, at least when it is maximized to it's fullest potential. I realize it is impossible to respond to every email or text immediately, but if a response is merited, that means someone is waiting for your reply so do them the courtesy of responding as soon as possible. Don't use the excuse, "I haven't checked my email" or "I haven't seen your text."

    You know people are going to be contacting you, so why not get into the habit of regularly checking your emails and texts. It only takes a few seconds.

    If the email doesn't necessarily require a response, consider whether or not it needs acknowledgment. If someone sends you some documents, photos, records, or whatever - the right thing to do is to let them know that you received them.

    The bottom line here is that you should respond promptly - but mostly it's that you do respond. Don't make the person feel like they are being ignored.

  • 3

    RESPECT

    ThinkStock

    Every office has the one or two people that really like to chat and visit, and it's cool to have some non-work related conversations with your co-horts. However, keep in mind that everybody has a job to do, there are deadlines, and there is limited time in the work day.

    You may not be aware of the full plate your co-worker has, and turning a 5-minute conversation into 15  or 20 minutes can be detrimental to people's productivity, and can negatively interoffice relationships.

    Maybe you don't have a ton of work to do, or you don't mind staying late, but that's not necessarily applicable to someone else. Maybe they are swamped, and maybe they really would like to get out the door on time.

  • 4

    CLEAN IT UP

    ThinkStock

    It's hard to imagine there are people in a public workplace that don't bathe or shower regularly. And it's hard to imagine that some of those people don't feel the need to use deodorant. But, they do exist. And, then there are those that think it's pretty cool to wear the same stinky underwear all week long.

    Body odor is offensive, and in the workplace it can affect not only co-workers, but clients, and customers.

    And while we are on the subject of clean, let's watch our language. If you want to cuss like a sailor on your own time, that's up to you. But at work, we need to be mindful of those around us who find that language to be distasteful and offensive.

     

     

  • 5

    BE POSITIVE

    ThinkStock

    The number one morale killer in the workplace if negativity and gossip. You know the old saying "if you can't say anything nice......" Well, there's a lot of truth in that. I'm confident that no workplace is perfect. There are issues and problems. But, to focus on the negative and to complain and to talk bad about management and supervisors is counter-productive. All that does is plant negative thoughts in people's minds and stirs up strife.

    I realize you aren't going to necessarily like or get along great with everyone in the office, but that doesn't mean you can't get along, be cordial, and work as a team. And if you are bad-mouthing a co-worker - even if they deserve it - is not being a team player. Besides, the more negative you are, the less people are going to like you and want to be around you.