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Knowledge Bank Article

POLITE PROTOCOL FOR SHARED OFFICE EQUIPMENT

Much as we like to think of the equipment at work as ours, we know it really isn't. We get to borrow it and may even have relatively exclusive rights to use it, but we, of course, don't own it -- the company does. When others need to use the same equipment, we need to apply basic principles of courtesy and decency so that the system works smoothly. While each type of equipment has its own set of rules, there are some guiding principles:

Learn how to use the equipment properly. If you don't know, ask.

Take turns.

Clean up your mess before leaving the area.

If it's empty, fill it.

If it breaks, fix it or get it fixed.

Don't take, borrow, or snoop through what isn't yours.

Leave equipment ready for the next user.

Specific Machines:

Fax Machine

Don't send unsolicited faxes. They can tie up someone's machine, waste paper, and reveal poor manners and lack of consideration.

Copier

The person with the fewest number of copies to make gets priority. Allow people with just a few copies to make to interrupt a large copy job.

Fill empty paper trays, resupply toner, and fix paper jams before you leave the machine.

Reset the machine back to the normal setting, and take your original with you.

Coffee Machine

If someone is not assigned the task of filling, emptying, and cleaning the pot, everyone using it should share in the responsibility.

If you empty the pot, start a new one.

Wipe up spills, and don't leave your dirty cup for someone else to clean.

Whatever the situation, a polite approach that takes the needs of others into account can reduce office tension and improve morale.

 

 



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