When to Draw the Line

Administrative Assistant Resource
December 17, 2013 — 1,552 views  
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Being ethical in your behavior is quite important, be it in your personal or professional life. But somehow you can be left feeling guilty in case you indulge in any sort of unethical behavior at work. Also, at some point or another, this guilt might end up reflecting in your work and affecting your performance negatively.

Most of the times, many employees are not even able to understand which of their actions come under unethical behavior. If you too feel like you are facing an ethical dilemma at work, here is a list that will help you in determining whether you are on the wrong path or not.

Ethical Dilemmas that you May Face at the Workplace:

  • Personal Business During Office Hours

Perhaps you use the office telephone line to make a call to your wife or use the office internet and computer to make a reservation for the weekend. However harmless it may seem, it still does come under unethical workplace actions. This may not be too serious, but if you are giving any part of your office hours to your personal side business that you run or your part time job, then you are definitely not being ethical with this practice.

While it may be wrong to call up your relatives and chat up with them for hours on the office phone, using it in case of an emergency does not seem wrong. Nonetheless, you should always check-up once with your manager or human resource department before using any of the office equipment or services for personal use.

  • Covering up For Your Colleagues

This may range anywhere from harmless cover up to on-the-face lies to protect your colleague or even yourself from being held responsible for something. In such situations, you are usually under the dilemma of being a good friend or colleague and being a good employee. If facing such a dilemma, you should analyze the reason to cover up given by your colleague. If you find it genuine, you can decide whether it is worth being lied for or not. But in any case, it could become a habit which you should watch out for.

  • Romantic Relationships with Colleagues or Clients

You may not really have any control over the people you fall in love with, but the office does not seem like a good place for love to blossom. So it best if you try to keep yourself from falling for that cute colleague. Even if it can’t be avoided, make sure that your relationship with the person does not affect your work or the office in any way. While in the office, keep it strictly professional and see to it that you choose your company before anyone else.

Dealing with Ethical Dilemma

If you are just not able to make a decision, here is what you should do:

  • Have a good look at the code of ethics handed out by your company.
  • Share or discuss your concern with your manager or with the human resource department.
  • Go through news articles that might have published in past dealing with certain dilemmas.

Administrative Assistant Resource