People Shared Their “Unspoken Office Rules” And Here Are 20 Tips Everyone Should Know

Published 12 months ago

Surviving the workplace drama can sometimes be like navigating a piranha-infested body of water. There are just too many out for blood.  So best arm yourself beforehand with all the tips and knowledge you can find, so you can safely make it across.

One Redditor had the same idea when they posted to the r/LifeProTips online community, asking people to share the most important unspoken rules in the workplace that may help a soul out. Folks obliged with their most handy hacks and we’ve shared some of the more insightful bits of advice below.

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#1 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!

Image source: IPauseForHurricanes, RDNE Stock project


You get paid to get on with your team mates. You don’t have to like them, but you have to try your best to get on with them.

Image source: 1gcm2

#3 In 20 years your family will remember all the overtime you worked but nobody from the companies will.

Image source: OwnBattle8805, Ron Lach

#4 No 8:00 AM meetings or 4:00 PM meetings.

Image source: jsakic99, Christina


If you work in an environment where you replace other workers (Eg a hospital), arrive on time. My time is just as important as yours. You might not think that arriving 2-3 minutes late is an issue, but I become irrationally angry when this happens. You’re taking MY time now…

Image source: diddidly98

#6 Don’t send any bad news or criticising emails after 2pm on a Friday. The other person can’t do anything about it except worry all weekend, and that sucks. Save it for Monday

Image source: uskgl455, Taryn Elliott

#7 If you see someone eating lunch by themselves quietly for the love of god don’t take it as an opportunity to talk their ear off. Lunch time is personal time.

Image source: thesleepymermaid, pexels

#8 HR is not your friend. Source: I am HR.

Image source: Lurker4longtime, Tim Gouw

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.


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.

Image source: ptpoa120000


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.

Image source: squindy9

#11 Always assume everything you say will be repeated to someone else, even when you’re on the phone in your office with no one else in there. Walls are thin. Don’t gossip, ever. That can make your work life miserable REALLY quickly.

Image source: daniiiii555, Anna Shvets

#12 Write every email as if you were to read it out loud in court.

Image source: WarOnWolves, Cytonn Photography


Do not Reply All

Image source: Masshole_Mick

#14 The real way to get a raise is to change companies

Image source: Kevin-W, Anna Shvets

#15 Take all your vacation days.

Image source: Pinkmongoose, Ezequiel Garrido

#16 If you didn’t cook it or buy it yourself, it ain’t your damn lunch!

Image source: TheThirdRace, charlesdeluvio

#17 Don’t reheat fish in the microwave

Image source: easywind143, cottonbro studio


If everything is an emergency, then nothing is an emergency.

Image source: gaytee

#19 Anonymous surveys aren’t anonymous.

Image source: warm_gravy, Christin Hume

#20 Be nice to everyone, make friends with a few

Image source: Coventry27, charlesdeluvio

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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corporate, job, money, office, office rules, unspoken office rules, unspoken rules, unwritten office rules, unwritten rules, work
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