PGR Office Etiquette Charter

We have new guidance, in the form of a PGR Office Etiquette Charter, which sets a standard of expected behaviours for each research student working in one of the shared PGR offices.

In a co-working space, it is essential to follow some basic rules in order to establish and maintain a productive, friendly, safe and healthy workspace. The purpose of this list of expectations around office etiquette in the shared PGR office spaces is to help establish a baseline of expectations for how to behave in this space. 

In case of issues

Successful co-working requires everyone to respect and observe office etiquette behaviours.  It can be difficult to tackle unwelcome behaviours, but doing so in a non-controversial way can settle the problem before it escalates.  We recommend that if there are any issues being experienced, that you try to resolve these in an informal manner in the first instance.  However, if seeking resolution informally proves unsuccessful, PGR students can approach the Informatics Graduate School for help. Email:

Managing expectations

Before being issued with an office key, the IGS will require PGR students to read and confirm their understanding of the PGR office etiquette policy.  In instances of where behaviours are in breach of the expected etiquette, the IGS reserves the right to remove the provision of PGR office space to individual students.

Taking unofficial possession of a desk by purposely leaving behind belongs so that others are unable to use it will be addressed by the IGS. If you are witnessing this behaviour, please let the IGS know that that action can be taken.  The IGS don't check office occupancy / status everyday, so we rely on students to inform us if certain peers are not complying with policy. 

Expected Behaviours

Expectation Best Practice

Follow the rules

Co-working spaces will be most successful and enjoyable if people familiarise themselves with the expected office etiquette behaviours.

This includes following the rules with respect to Health and Safety (including wearing footwear in the office). 

Be friendly, polite and welcoming to your co-workers.

Be a positive presence and contribute to the vibrancy of the office / PGR community.

Say hello when arriving in the office; acknowledging the presence of others is simply polite. Watch out for your co-workers; if they appear quiet or withdrawn, offer them some friendly and collegiate support. If you have serious concerns about a fellow student's wellbeing, please approach the PGR tutors or IGS for advice. 

Be professional and considerate in your behaviours

Being professional and considerate to others is paramount for maintaining good office relationships.

Respect people’s need for quiet, uninterrupted work time.

Take private and personal, or long technical conversations out of the office.

Limit the number and frequency of visitors.

Respect the need for privacy and peace & quiet

Make an effort to network and interact with others, but remember that the shared office environment needs to be conducive to productive study. 

Think about and notice your own volume and don’t make unnecessarily loud noise.

Keep your phone on silent and leave the office to take any calls.

Use headphones when appropriate and keep the volume at a level that cannot be heard by others.

Make appropriate use of the meeting areas

If you have something to discuss with a co-worker, move either to a meeting room or communal space where there aren’t a lot of other people around and where your conversations won’t disturb other people’s concentration.

Stay at home if feeling at all unwell

It is a common sense rule that you should stay home if you feel unwell. This is especially important now that we have all experienced the disruption of the COVID pandemic.   The risk of giving whatever illness you have to your co-workers should be eliminated by you simply choosing not to come into the office.  Also, if you happen to become unwell at work, go home immediately.

Cleanliness and tidiness

Expectation Best Practice

Keep shared work areas clean and sanitised

While this goes without saying in a co-working space, it’s now more important than ever to pay attention to the cleanliness of the shared areas. 

Clean the shared desk, monitor and keyboard on arrival and on departure. 

Be proactive and contact the School Facilities team ( if/when supplies are running low.
Clean up after yourself and keep the office tidy

No one wants to work next to someone who is untidy and messy. It can affect concentration and productivity and is not pleasant for anyone to see or be near.

Use the storage facilities for personal belongings; don't leave them to clutter up shared spaces. Take bags, luggage, sport equipment etc home with you at the end of the day.

Dispose of your rubbish throughout and at the end of each working day, so that it is clean and tidy for the next person.

Leave the desk free of all belongings at the end of each working day - please don't try to take unofficial possession of a desk by purposely leaving behind belongs so that others are unable to use it. If this is being witnessed, it will be addressed by the IGS.

Keep it fresh

Maintain high standards of personal hygiene.

Ideally, take lunch/food breaks in the appropriate communal areas of the building - not only does it help keep offices free of foodie smells and debris, taking a proper break from the office/computer is good for health and wellbeing. (NB: The building has had previous issues before with mice, due to foodstuffs being left in offices, so good food hygiene and practices will help avoid this situation arising again). 

Avoid eating certain “trigger foods” within a work environment such as eggs, fragrant fish, or any other food item that will overwhelm the office and linger on.

Take your gym/exercise kit home to avoid offices being impacted by the unpleasant smell of sweaty belongings.

Charter approved by IGS Management Exec July 2021