Rollercoaster WorkLife

Strained Office connections

How to Be Politically Correct in the Workplace

There is something wrong here in office. Work relations are strained between colleagues and management here. What went wrong?

As far as I know, in order to create a comfortable and productive work atmosphere, it helps to show respect toward people of various backgrounds by observing some simple rules of conduct.

Such rules are not restricted to :

1. Using acceptable terminology when referring to various racial, ethnic, religious and other minority groups. Proper terms include “Malay,” “Caucasian,” “Indian” and so forth.

2. Use gender-neutral terms whenever possible. For example, say “chairperson” or simply “chair” in place of “chairman.”

3. Avoid telling jokes or making comments that key off of racial, ethnic or sexual stereotypes, even if those present don’t belong to the target group. Such humor often makes people uncomfortable regardless of their backgrounds.

4. Keep e-mail, memos and other office communications professional and nonoffensive. Avoid trying to be humorous in these situations, because even the most well-intentioned jokes and remarks can be interpreted in the wrong way.

5. Be aware of your surroundings when taking personal calls. Avoid allowing yourself to become relaxed to the point where your comments may make nearby co-workers uncomfortable.

I think my colleagues are encountering most of the issue above. More often than not, one of them will crack racist jokes without considering the fact that there are other races working together with him or even worse, he might even throw his temper citing bad words about the rival with racist remarks.

Such things, though is being condone on the surface by the higher authority, are sadly still under practice, without ANY prevention by the direct supervisor as well. Sigh.

Politically correct terminology can change quickly. Do your best to keep up with current trends. Unfortunately, certain things can happen that can turn the tide of some people.

120 replies on “Strained Office connections”

I agree that we have to adhere to a professional conduct and etiquette when dealing with colleagues in the office, even if we’re close to them. However, I personally feel that once you’re out of the office or it’s after office hours, then of course, a joke or too might be good to ease the tension (provided you’re really really close and kamcheng with them). Heh, just my thoughts.

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