In fact, half of the people in a recent survey said they find nail grooming in the office to be offensive. I’m surprised it’s only half, since clipped nails tend to fly around, and nobody wants your nails on their desk or in their lunch.
Of course, you might think it’s no big deal to clip a hangnail without heading to the bathroom. But know this: Grossing out your coworkers could be bad for your career and might even land you at the top of the list for the next round of layoffs.
What else don’t people like to see their coworkers do at their desk?
Take off their shoes, apply deodorant, or floss their teeth. And most of them don’t want to see T-shirts with inappropriate slogans or logos, or anyone wearing ripped jeans, flip-flops, strapless tops, or backless dresses.
And etiquette experts agree. Jodi R.R. Smith is president of the “good manners” training firm Mannersmith. And she says that clothing that belongs at the beach should never be worn to work. And anything that can be categorized as personal grooming, like flossing or nail clipping, is inappropriate for the workplace.
That means, don’t do anything at your desk that would normally be done in your bathroom at home.
So, what can you do if a coworker does something you find offensive? Our etiquette expert suggests being polite and direct. For example, try saying: “You probably have no idea. But when you clip your nails in your cubicle, it totally grosses me out. I’m all for good grooming. But if you could do it in the bathroom or at home, I’d really appreciate it.”