People Are Sharing The "Unspoken Rules" Of Work In 2023, And These Should Be Etched In Stone

    "The chatty self-proclaimed expert knows nothing. The one Gen X'er that doesn't talk to anyone, ever, unless absolutely required — they know everything."

    Whether you're a new grad just starting out or more seasoned in your career, the unspoken rules people follow at work have been changing quite a bit over the last few years. Hustle culture is out, working to live is in, and attitudes around sharing salaries have shifted a lot from the traditional zipped-lip approach.

    people working in an office

    Recently, u/shineafsheen asked people on Reddit to share the unspoken rules they follow at work in 2023, and they had a lot to say. Here are some of the top responses:

    1. "If you're a woman, don't bring treats in, set up lunches, or 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."

    2. "The chatty self-proclaimed expert knows nothing. The one Gen X'er that doesn't talk to anyone, ever, unless absolutely required — they know everything."


    3. "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."


    4. "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."

    same boss offering a Black woman $64 a day and then offering a white man $100 a day

    5. "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."


    6. "Pizza is not a raise. Do not be bought out by pizza and think everything is okay."


    7. "Take all your vacation days."

    8. "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!"


    9. "Write every email as if you were to read it out loud in court."


    10. "The real way to get a raise is to change companies."

    11. "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)."


    12. "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."


    13. "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."

    14. "We are not actually a family."


    15. "Treat new hires with respect. One of them might end up your superior sooner than you know."


    16. "No 8:00 a.m. meetings or 4:00 p.m. meetings."

    Moira Rose saying I'm positively bedeviled with meetings et cetera

    17. "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."


    18. "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."


    19. "Anonymous surveys aren’t anonymous."

    20. "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."


    "Agree about the benefits! One thing many companies may have is a health advocate. They can help with figuring out medical bills, insurance claims, where to find care for certain things and it's free. I used them to make sure a medical bill was the correct amount based on my deductible being met. They did all the work for me and found out that yes, that one is correct, but another one was overcharged and I was refunded $1052."


    21. "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."


    22. "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."

    23. "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."


    24. "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."


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

    26. "Don't microwave popcorn and leave the area. Guy did this at work, set the fire alarm off which resulted in 50-some people standing out in the cold rain and then the smell persisted for days."


    27. "If you didn't cook it or buy it yourself, it ain't your damn lunch!"


    28. "Please don’t be that person that cuts your nails at your desk."

    29. "Operate with the understanding that everyone is replaceable, even yourself. It may seem like some people are so ingrained in the process the company could not get by without them. Reality is if that person got hit by a bus, the company would be fine."


    30. "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."


    "The corollary of this is powerful too. Say nice things about people behind their backs. It gets back, and it benefits both of you."


    31. "No one is a rock star and we’re not having a meeting in the war room. We sell software, Carl."

    32. "Don’t smell bad, obviously. Bathe. Deodorant. But also. Don’t smell too good. People don’t want to smell you. If you’re not leaning over my shoulder to show me something, I should not smell anything. Your scent should not linger in my office after you leave, Emily. Same goes for your office. If I pick up your smell being in your office and it sticks to me I am annoyed. Small pieces of your smell adhered to my skin, hair, and clothing and go into my nose later and it’s gross and your fault. Don’t smell."


    33. "In 20 years, your family will remember all the overtime you worked but nobody from the companies will."


    34. And finally, "Nobody is there because they want to be. Everyone has something or someone they’d rather be spending their time with. Everyone is just paying their bills and goes through the same motions you are. Be sensitive to everyone’s time and work."

    Is there anything you would add? Tell me your rules of work in the comments!