More exciting and no doubt morale-boosting developments in the Tories’ ongoing modernization of the public service.
Readers will recall Treasury Board Prez Tony Clement’s latest brainwave, back-to-the-future “open plan” offices for government sluggos, with cubicle dividers removed to better surveil the slackers (See Also: Mr. Clement, tear down this baffle!)
All this creative disruption comes at a cost, so Public Works has come to the rescue with a pamphlet of etiquette guidelines for navigating the shining vistas of “workplace 2.0.”
“Being considerate and respectful of others is important when working in an open plan workplace. Striking the right balance between being accessible to your colleagues and staff and setting boundaries so you can concentrate on your work is key,” inmates are advised.
The pamphlet is jam-packed with tips to remind public servants how not to behave like animals, even as they get used to being housed not at all dissimilarly. A sampling:
– Use headphones to listen to the radio, music and audio clips on your computer. Headphones are great for keeping your noise in and other people’s noise out.
– Treat people as though they have enclosed offices. Wait to be invited into someone else’s personal space. (aka the Les Nessman protocol!—ed.)
– Do not read what is on someone’s computer screen unless you are asked to do so.
– Do not read other people’s files, touch their belongings or use their supplies without asking.
– Resist the temptation to answer questions or comment on conversations you overhear.
– Keep ring tones low and choose the least annoying options.
– Speak as softly as possible. Use your ‘library voice.’ Use a headset to help keep your own volume low.
– Eat lunch in the cafeteria or kitchen. Eating particularly fragrant foods at your desk can be a major irritant for your colleagues.
– Store gym clothes away from other people’s workstations.
– Keep your shoes on!