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A clean and neat work space is one way to maintain harmony in the increasingly confined spaces of the modern office.

From a Deloitte tip sheet on "hoteling etiquette":

1. Reserve only the space you need to do your job, and only for the time you need it.

2. Remove work and personal items at the end of your reservation; your colleagues are not your personal assistants.

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3. Respect your colleagues' privacy.

4. Keep work surfaces clean and sanitized.

5. Discard food and trash items. Your colleagues don't want your trash any more than you do.

6. Be aware of your noise levels; do not use speaker phones in the open area; use a headset or a privacy enclave when you need more privacy or will be on an extended call.

7. One person's music is another person's noise. Use earphones.

8. Do not remove furniture or fixtures from work spaces; someone will need to sit there.

9. Remember the appearance of our office is a reflection of our professionalism.

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More tips from Toronto-based business behaviour expert Linda Allan:

10. Greet colleagues and introduce yourself to people you don't know when you sit down beside them.

11. Wipe down phone, desktop and chair handles with sanitary wipes before and after use.

12. Stash personal things in desk drawers, but clear them out when you leave.

13. Don't be a squatter by keeping a work station you aren't using full of your things.

14. If you leave the workstation briefly, make sure your laptop is locked. Don't leave mobile electronic devices unattended.

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15. If your conversation becomes confidential, get up and move to a private space.

16. Feel empowered to talk with co-workers who are being loud or causing a disturbance. They may not realize they are affecting your ability to do your work.

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About the Author

Wallace Immen is an award-winning staff writer for The Globe and Mail whose stories about workplace trends and career advice, as well as about cruising and travel destinations around the world appear regularly in print and on-line. He has worn many hats in his career with the Globe, including science writer, medical writer and columnist, urban affairs reporter and travel writer. More


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