5 'Strange Office Rules' Australians Encounter

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July 8, 2014 8:01 AM EST

Australia is home to some of the most exotic species and sights. This could be the reason there are strange rules in the office that may not be available in other places.

REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw

Many may be surprised by how absurd some of these sound but believe it or not, the workplace can actually benefit the proper observance of these stipulations.

1. No tuna policy. Foods that emit strong odors such as tuna, fruits, vinegar, anchovies and anything that your boss hates are not allowed in the office. Many companies cited receiving complaints from employees about the types of food that their colleagues bring. Some made it a rule to only pack low-odor food and stay away from curry as much as possible.

2. Clear desk policy. Several bosses suffer from obsessive-compulsive behavior and easily find eyesores in the office. With this, the clear desk policy was born. This reminds employees that their desks should be free of pens, papers and other office materials by the end of the day. Many go through training programs to keep unnecessary items out of the way and other extras inside their drawers. Wires should be properly tucked away and only the things needed for a particular task should be kept on the table at any time.

3. No talking in the corridor or near the water dispenser. Many companies forbid their employees from talking too long in the corridor or other high traffic areas. There are designated areas instead where people can discuss matters, whether it is related to office work. Some superiors get irritated at the sight of workers who seem to like gossiping all the time.

4. No mentioning of 'mate.' Some companies compel their employees to address each other and their clients as "sir" or "madam" instead of "mate." For many Australians, "mate" seems to make them more approachable to customers and they find using "sir" or "ma'am" rather awkward.

5. No patronizing of other brands. Some companies have very strict rules when it comes to using their competitor's products. Some employees are told to cover brand names and logos with masking tape or bring a blank container to transfer the products in. 

Are there more uniquely Australian office rules you can add to this list? You can share them in the comments' section.

(Photo: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files / )
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw
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