Classy coworkers are always a joy to work with. Not only are they reliable, they’re also the least annoying people to be with.
But what makes them this way?
Well, it’s because there’s many little things they REFUSE to do.
If you want to be a little classier, here are the things you must avoid doing in the workplace:
1) Shouting in the hallway
Classy people are mindful of the people around them and will never raise their voice at work.
They know better than to disrupt the focus of people trying to get their work done, messing up presentations, and annoying people trying to enjoy their noon break.
If they need someone’s attention, they’ll just try to message that person or walk up to them.
The only exceptions are when there’s some kind of emergency that demands it like a colleague suffering from heart attack or someone stealing their wallet.
2) Getting involved in office gossip
Engaging with gossip at work might seem like a good way to bond with your coworkers. Talking trash about others can make you all feel like you have something in common.
But the problem with it is that it’s simply unprofessional.
Why is it anyone’s business if Bob from marketing was cheating on his wife, or if Martha from accounting hasn’t been brushing her teeth?
It might feel harmless to talk about these “small” things, but classy people will refuse to get involved no matter how “juicy” the gossip might get.
They instead try to uphold professionality even though people might call them boring or a killjoy for it.
3) Wearing very strong perfume
Perfume can be very offensive, especially to those with sensitive noses. And the last thing anyone needs is to be unable to do anything but sneeze all day because their coworker is doused head to toe in bad perfume.
And let’s be real—being classy isn’t about how many luxury brands you can afford to flaunt. It’s about how mindful you are towards others. And anyway, there’s a lot of expensive perfume that’s off-putting.
Classy people know this and would rather keep their perfume light and inoffensive to avoid assaulting their coworkers’ noses.
They don’t have anything to “prove”, so they don’t feel a need to stand out.
4) Picking their nose
Classy people would never do it, not even if there’s no one else in the room. They know it’s gross and tacky behavior to do in public.
Not only do they care about how others view them, they truly care about how others might feel looking at them.
They don’t want their colleagues to feel uncomfortable and disgusted around them.
If they must clean their nose or scratch toes, they will try to get it done before they go to work, or they will do it in the privacy of a bathroom.
5) Allowing their desk to get messy
Classy people are very particular with cleanliness. Their desks might get a bit full or busy, but never messy.
Even when they have a dozen different papers they need to mind, they will keep things neat and orderly.
If their desks ever get messy—and it’s bound to happen at some point—they will make sure it doesn’t last too long. They WILL sort things out before leaving their workplace.
You might wonder “How can they have so much time to clean?”
Well, if you clean daily, it only takes less than 10 minutes to do maintenance. Plus, as mentioned before, they don’t waste their time on gossip. So there’s that.
6) Talking loudly on the phone
Some of the most annoying people you’ll ever meet at work are those who simply don’t bother to lower their voices when talking—even on calls!
Classy people avoid this by knowing and following phone etiquette.
They take the time to learn how to talk quietly, and will even cup their hand over their mouth to make sure they aren’t bothering others.
And if they know that they’re still being a bother even if they speak quietly, instead of shrugging and going “oh, I’m already trying”—expecting that others should understand them—they instead try to excuse themselves and go where they’re not going to be bothering people.
7) Do heavy flirting in the office
Romance at work is, in general, strongly frowned upon.
Some companies even have rules forbidding it outright and demanding that married couples work in separate departments.
Classy people know why this is the case and, even when they’re working where workplace romance is not exactly forbidden, they know better than to flirt at work.
They might act cute and act playful, but that’s as far as they will go. They’re not going to play footsies or lick their lips to seduce someone.
It should also come as no surprise that because of this, classy people manage to avoid a lot of workplace drama.
8) Freaking out
Classy people know how to regulate their emotions. And it’s not just because they were born with it—it’s a skill that they have honed over the years.
They might get stressed when something goes wrong with a project they’re working on, but they refuse to catastrophize.
Instead of having a big public freakout or acting like they’ve just lost 44 billion dollars, they will instead take a step back and try to figure things out.
They know that freaking out will only add needless stress and everything has a solution.
It’s only by staying calm and trying to find solutions that they’ll actually find a solution to their problem, whatever it may be.
It doesn’t matter if it’s money, ideas, or even pens—classy people will never steal.
As a rule of thumb, they greatly prefer to simply ask if they need something. And, in the case of ideas, they give credit where credit is due.
Nothing is worth them compromising their own integrity and self-respect just to get ahead.
Choosing not to steal—especially when there’s no way they can get caught—takes a lot of integrity and self-discipline, which classy people have an abundance of.
10) Giving sarcastic remarks
Most classy people are smart, and yet, they don’t ever get snarky even when they’re really pissed.
They know that sarcasm is the lowest form of intelligence and they don’t really enjoy attacking people with it—not even their enemies.
What do they do instead?
They’d speak up as politely but honestly as they can. They won’t say to a know-it-all colleague “Yeah, because you’re soooo brilliant, Jose! You’re a genius among us”.
Instead, they’d say “Jose, I understand you’re passionate about this but we should also consider the suggestions of other team members. It seems like there’s an imbalance.”
11) Arriving late for a meeting
You might think classy people are the spoiled brats who always arrive late because it’s cool.
But the truly classy people don’t like to keep people waiting. Not even for a second!
It’s just become their habit to come a little bit early because, as stated many times in this article already, classy people don’t want to be a burden to others.
If you want to be classy and more important, so you’ll be considered trustworthy by your coworkers, start with this.
It’s only hard at first but once it becomes a habit, you won’t be late for anything—and isn’t that a good thing to do for yourself as well? Time management is tough but definitely a life skill worth mastering.
12) Talking when they should be listening
Some people lack social awareness that they can’t tell when it’s their time to talk or their time to shut up and listen.
While classy people are very aware of this and would know exactly when to talk and listen in social interactions, I’m not just talking about that.
I’m talking about the professional set-up, too. Classy people would never talk about random stuff to the person beside them when they’re at a meeting or conference, for example.
Classy people are respectful. They know it’s not easy for the person talking to deliver their speech or presentation, so they’d listen even if it gets boring. Or if they really have to talk, they’ll put the extra effort to not be so obvious when they do it.
13) Taking all the credit
I already mentioned how classy people would never ever steal anything…and that includes credit.
They know that in the professional setting, people are very sensitive about this, and so they make sure that if someone helped them in creating something, they’d mention those people—whether in the company social media or to their bosses.
They’d never suddenly develop dementia when it’s time to reap the fruits of their labor.
And if there’s a way for them to thank those who helped them in other ways—say a gift or a bonus—they’d willingly give it!
So…based on this list, do you consider yourself a classy coworker?
If you go “Ugh, I’ll never be classy!”, well you’re just like the rest of us. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Mr. Nice or Ms. Neat-and-orderly all the time.
But here’s the thing—the very act of trying to be classy (that is, being a more mindful person each day) will eventually turn you into a genuinely classy person. So just keep trying. You’d do yourself and your coworkers a big favor.