Lab and Office Etiquette

This department has always been a great place to work and study, welcoming staff and students from very diverse backgrounds. Please keep in mind that the labs and offices are academic spaces and that the environment should be welcoming, safe and clean.

See our lab policies

Personal Hygiene

Please maintain proper hygiene by bathing daily, brushing your teeth and using deodorant to minimize body odours. Refrain from wearing heavily scented perfumes, colognes and lotions as they may cause allergic reactions, migraines and respiratory difficulty for some people. Clothes should be clean and laundered frequently. Shoes should be worn at all times.

Be sure to wash your hands frequently. This will help prevent the spread of germs - this is especially important as we are all touching doorknobs and sharing keyboards.


Please do not eat or drink in the labs. We do allow food in the offices, however perishable food should be stored in a refrigerator, typically one available for common use. Please place food refuse (food, food containers) in the larger trashcans in the lounge or washrooms as these are emptied nightly. Office trash cans are only emptied occasionally and food remnants may cause odours or fruit flies.


Labs and offices serve many purposes, but they are still work spaces. Please have some consideration for your lab/office-mates and remember that these spaces are shared.

  • Do not talk across the room. If you want to speak with someone at any length move closer to them
  • Do not talk louder than necessary. If two people are conversing close to one another, everyone else in the room need not hear the conversation.
  • Keep conversations short. If you need to have a long detailed conversation or "idea session," move into the hall, a breakout room or outside (especially for non-work related conversations). If you want to just chat, go for a walk or a cup of coffee.
  • Keep music volume down. Even with headphones on, others may still be able to hear your music - be conscious of others around you (or buy better insulated headphones!)

Office Use

Offices and labs should be used for activities related to your work. They are not living spaces. If you spend a night in your office, or otherwise sleep in your office (beyond the occasional cat-nap at your desk) please reconsider your work/life balance.

Even if assignments and deadlines occasionally require you to stay late in your office, you still should go home and rest for several hours before starting your next day. If you are concerned about the safety of traveling late in the evening, consider the SafeWalk program.