Easygoing, relaxed, flexible, casual . . . thankfully most of us can use these words to describe our office environments. Most offices today are no longer the monotonous stress chambers they used to be. They are disciplined yet playful, composed yet productive, hectic but largely positive. However, there are downsides, too. Given the casual and fun vibes encouraged in many offices these days (Labradors at work! A garden with hammocks!), it can often be difficult to draw a balance between being chill but still being heard.
And what can be more annoying that not being taken seriously at work?
Whether you are an extremely friendly team leader guiding a whole bunch of people or a fresher beaming with ideas, everyone needs a certain amount of respect and attention at the workplace. If you’re trying to strike a balance between work and fun, while still getting your points across, here’s a handy guide.
So you believe in letting your work do the talk? Great. But that doesn’t mean that you completely ignore the way you present yourself. Just because you have the luxury to turn up in casuals doesn’t mean you always should always reach for that ratty T-shirt and (when-did-you-last-wash-that?) denims. Dressing smart will not only leave a great impression on others but also boost your confidence.
Presentation, by the way, involves much more than clothes and personal grooming. Using text shorthand or emoticons while sending professional mails is a strict NO. They make you look like an amateur with questionable language skills, and there’s always that nasty chance that they get forwarded to clients or higher management. #Facepalm
Finally, clear up that cubicle. Making a mess not only makes it difficult to find your way through but also gives some people (we’re not saying who) the impression that you are disorganized, and hence too casual and nonchalant towards work and life in general.
Don’t set boundaries for yourself
“Learning on the job” is not just a fancy phrase but a success mantra in itself. No matter where you are in a company, there will always be something that you can still learn to enhance your performance. If you want to come across as someone who is passionate about their work, then it’s time to push your limits.
Ankit Singh, Team Leader – Operations, at MattsenKumar reveals that the will to get out of one’s comfort zone and learn about new things (even if they don’t concern them directly) is the quality he looks for in an ideal employee. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn coding, or believe that there’s a designer in you somewhere. Use a few hours in the week to learn and develop skills which can take you further up your chosen field.
Beat the deadlines
If you are someone who doesn’t start working on a project until you are on the edge of the deadline, know that you are being rather unjust to yourself and to your work. Finishing work before the deadline will not just save you a lot of stress but also allow you more time to be original and inventive with your tasks. This is one of the more straightforward ways of being taken seriously, btw.
Noma Nazish, digital writer at Cosmopolitan admits, “Staying ahead of deadlines gives me the luxury of time to be more detailed and creative in my approach. Being punctual shows that one is capable of doing tasks effectively as well as efficiently, hence improving your impression at work”.
Learn a few easy yet fruitful tips to stay ahead of deadlines here.
Build healthy relationships
If you think you can emerge a winner working as a lone wolf, you are highly mistaken. Workplaces are all about teamwork.According to Divya Giri, a Graduate Engineer Trainee at HCL: “A friendly relationship with co-workers encourages me to ask questions and take up challenges, knowing that there are people who have got my back.”
To achieve great results you need a positive atmosphere, and for that you need to be on good terms with those around you. Nothing can be worse than walking up to and demanding things from people who don’t know you, or in the worst cases, dislike or misunderstand you. Make sure that all competition with colleagues stays healthy and don’t indulge in office politics or malicious gossip, even during those ‘Beer Pong Friday’ nights.