Sharing is caring. Share and share alike. You need to learn how to share. We’ve all heard sayings like these tossed around throughout the years. And for the most part, sharing is a good thing…except for when it’s a bad thing.

Sometimes sharing is accompanied by a sweet smile, like when you hand someone a cookie. And other times it’s followed up with a scrunch-faced grimace, like when you share too much information about something uncomfortably personal.

The workplace comes with it’s own set of unwritten rules for sharing, separate from the ones you find on the street. Sure, some of the same rules overlap, but there’s company culture to consider.

Sharing done right can make a tremendous amount of difference when it comes to moving projects forward and overall productivity in your company. Here are 6 do’s and don’ts when it comes to sharing at work.

Do: Share new ideas and examples of how they can work

Got a brilliant idea? Share it like holiday candy. You’d be surprised how receptive most companies are about innovative thinking and change in general. If it helps the customer, the product, or company, it’s always a good idea to share it. Some of the most successful companies in the world regularly invite employees to brainstorm and flush out transformative ideas.

If you find you’re having a hard time convincing the powers that be to support some of your brave new ideas, it’s time to whip out some examples. Find other companies who are doing something similar. Patch together some examples from various pictures, websites, and videos to illustrate how it can work. It also helps to mock-up a rough design of what you have in mind.

Don’t: Share the cold you carried into work

We all get sick. And our workloads don’t disappear when we do. But bringing it into the office and toughing it out causes more harm than good. All your coworkers are potentially next. Every sneeze, every cough, everything you touch, brings them one step closer to sharing your achy, red-nosed pain. And when everyone gets sick, deadlines are missed and productivity starts to slip. Do yourself—and everyone else—a favor: work from home or take some days off until you’re better.

Do: Share news about your industry

Staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the tech world, marketing world, or your industry helps you plan for what’s next—not only for your team, but for your company. It also sparks new ideas and can steer you towards different avenues for business develop and strategy. It’s fair to say that sharing the latest and greatest can have a substantial amount of impact. And when you share out a few good articles, videos, and such, your coworkers and social network are likely to share what they find back your way. It’s a good thing for everyone.

Don’t: Share stories of how you wound up eating junkfood at 2AM

I know it can be funny to hear about someone else’s late-night grubbing—burger sauce spilling all over the place and the giant mound of fries they ate—but the office is not the best arena for this. People are likely to judge them for being tired that day. Whether it’s fair or not, why put yourself in that kind of muddy water?

Do: Share files and comments

Collaborating with coworkers, means sharing files. Often when someone completes a document, someone else needs to check it, add to it, approve it, etc. And when images are needed, the document then goes off to a designer.

Usually, there are a few rounds of reviews, a few rounds of changes, and when everything is wrapped up, management signs off on it. All of this takes constant communication and conversation. To know what decisions have been made, what changes to make, and what the timeline looks like. The fastest, easiest way to keep projects rolling forward is to use a cloud-based collaboration platform that all your collaborators can access anytime. Remember to share early and often.

Don’t: Share cat GIFs…unless, of course, your coworkers beg for them

First off, I love cat GIFs. Love them. I think they’re funny and my team actually shares and begs for them. I’m sure one day I’ll tire of them…but I don’t see that in my near future.

But not everyone feels the same way I do. There are those out there who have already tired of them. Or that never quite understood the reason for them in the first place. And that’s okay too. Unless they explicitly tell you to keep them coming, probably best to keep those kitties all to yourself.

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