Everyone needs space
Behavioural expectations should be laid out in the employee handbook. It should cover everything from inappropriately initiating contact outside the workplace, even on social media, to workplace romances, professional interactions, being culturally respectful and working with different personality types. This protects the interests of introverts, who are often mistreated or overlooked. It’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure everyone can be productive in a healthy and safe work environment. It’s important that it’s in the handbook because an employer needs to have a basis for discipline and termination. Most large companies have at least one person who hugs, so personal space does need to be covered for appropriate interactions.
From Ms Jasmine Williams
Take it seriously
The importance of personal space at the workplace is something often taken for granted. People are different and it is challenging to work with individuals who have different personalities. However, human resource departments should put more emphasis on the importance of personal space so that people can work together peacefully, and not have any negative feelings towards others. It is difficult to adjust to the needs of others but in order to have a healthy work environment, being sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings are vital. People who complain about personal space are often made fun of for being sensitive, but it is a valid concern and issue. If someone tells you about something you’re doing which they don’t like, instead of being angry and upset, you should take it into consideration.
From Ms Chandini Mathur
Why create discomfort?
An air of comfort embraces you as you walk through those doors, familiar faces, familiar sounds and familiar smells. For most people, their workplace is like a second home, and with that comes the feeling of having a close-knit circle of confidantes. However, the concept of ‘personal space’ is such a subjective one that it seems better to follow a set-in-stone list of rules to maintain that safe and comfortable feeling. What may be friendly behaviour to one, could come off as overbearing or harassing to another. At the end of the day, not everyone thinks the same way, so why complicate the situation by not toeing the line?
From Ms Rohini Gopalkrishnan
Speak about harassment
I think it depends. If you are feeling any kind of harassment at the workplace from someone, you can definitely explain the problem you are facing to them or observe them. In most of the cases, people are good and they know how to respect people, especially women. However, in some cases, if such kind of behaviour happens, it might be because of a cultural difference. But at the end of the day, I would just say that if you feel insecure then you should definitely discuss it with the concerned person.
From Mr Zahid Riaz
Depends on situation
Most people have an opinion when it comes to politics. So should employers and human resource managers keep such talk out of the workplace? They can’t. Experts say that since attempting to ban political discussions is not only illegal, but also impossible to enforce from a practical perspective. But employers still have a responsibility to make sure workers feel comfortable at work. And it’s a delicate balance. One person’s free speech is another person’s loud-mouthed bullying.
From Ms Sadaf Waheed
Lack of space equals stress
Personal space is very important in the workplace because when you have no privacy, you get stressed out and stress will end up in poor output. It is very important that a person should take time off to rest from overworking. If there is no personal space then taking a break will also be difficult and uncomfortable.
From Mr Tphebe Godsfeareth
People keep track
Yes, each and every one of us has a personal and private life. Some people really fail to understand this. Above that, some of your colleagues forget to keep boundaries between you and them. They keep a track of your activities, which is very irritating.
From Ms Hai Fa
It should be stipulated that some people don’t know how to treat others, and sometimes not even general managers of companies. They disrespect the employees because they are your superior, yet respect should be accorded and given to everyone.
From Mr Kamau Andrew Chege
Ras Al Khaima
Be at an arms distance
Yes, the workplace should be a professional establishment not a locker room of camaraderie. Colleagues should stay in their limit and at an arm’s length. One should not be able to smell what coffee the next person is having.
From Ms Bebichou B. Henry
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