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Workplace Etiquette

When it involves working in an office or other professional setting, etiquette matters a lot. How you present yourself and…

By Shobha Singh , in Blog Soft Skills , at May 12, 2021

When it involves working in an office or other professional setting, etiquette matters a lot. How you present yourself and interact with those around you—whether your co-workers, supervisors, or direct reports—speaks to who you’re as an individual and as a member of the team, and may directly influence the trajectory of your career.

How do you present yourself to others within the workplace matters. Setting a professional tone is vital to building new relationships and confirming you have a positive, successful experience in the workplace.

  • Make a Good First Impression: People often form impressions about others within seconds, so it’s important to ensure you present yourself as a professional. Be aware of your visual communication and the way others may perceive it. A good rule is to stand straight, maintain eye contact, and wear a smile! Make sure you recognize the workplace code and office policies before time. Arrive on time and be prepared for important meetings.
  • Avoid Gossip: How you treat people says tons about you. Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance within the workplace or speak negatively about your co-workers, albeit you find yourself upset over a particular situation. Be mindful about how you interact together with your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates also.
  • Communication is Key: Communication is an important part of workplace etiquette. It’s not what you say, but how you say that counts, so be mindful of how you communicate with your colleagues in meetings and one-on-one conversations. In regards to email, make certain your correspondence in and out of the doors of your workplace is written clearly and free from spelling errors. Remember, email may be a permanent record of any conversation.
  • Understand your Work Environment: The values, policies, and procedures of a workplace are often difficult to differentiate at first. If you’re in a larger organization with a structured human resource division, you’ll have access to HR Manager or in-house training to stay you informed of your organization’s expectations. In a smaller workplace setting, a variety of that knowledge may come from observing others and asking questions of your colleagues when needed. Lastly, observing the atmosphere and actions of others can assist you to understand what’s appropriate and what’s not, and the way to best navigate the workplace while maintaining your professionalism. As the global market grows, the necessity to know multiple international standards of business etiquette is additionally growing. If you’re taking employment or internship in another country, make sure to research the right etiquette, culture, and customs for both that country and therefore the organization you propose to work for.
  • Be Personable Yet Professional: Sharing information about your personal life is your choice, but take care when it involves what you share; some colleagues could also be more open than others and might choose to keep their personal life private as well. Similarly, you’ll want to limit personal calls, emails, and other non-work-related tasks to after-work hours. Within your workspace, it’s okay to feature personal touches, but remember that your colleagues will see the space and consider it a reflection of your professional self. Lastly,  knowing your colleagues may be a good thing, but always be respectful of others’ space. If you would like to debate something with them, don’t just walk in; knock or make your presence known, and always offer to schedule a gathering for later within the day if they are busy at the moment.
  • Making Positive Impressions: People often form first impressions about others within seconds of the primary meeting therefore it’s crucial to make sure you’re properly prepared to present yourself as knowledgeable.

Here are some important tips

    • Stand straight, make eye contact, turn towards people when they are speaking, and genuinely smile at people.
    • Follow your office code, perhaps dressing a step above the norm for your office.
    • Your bag and the things you carry in they say something about you. Messy items may detract from the image you’d wish to present.
    • When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to shake hands palm to palm with gentle firmness.
    • Be alert. Sleepiness looks bad in the workplace.
    • Kindness and courtesy count!
    • Arrive early to work each day.
  • People: How you treat people says tons about you.
    • Learn names and learn them quickly. A good tip for remembering names is to use a person’s name 3 times within your first conversation with them. Also, write names down and keep business cards. People know once you don’t know their names and should interpret this as a symbol that you simply don’t value them.
    • Don’t make value judgments on people’s importance within the workplace. Talk to the upkeep, staff members, and to the people that perform many of the executive support functions. These people deserve your respect!
    • Self-assess: believe how you treat your supervisor(s), peers, and subordinates. Would the differences within the relationships, if seen by others, cast you in an unfavorable light? If so, find where the imbalance exists, and begin the method of transforming the connection dynamically.
    • Respect people’s personal space.
  • Communicating: It’s sometimes not what you say, but how you say it that counts!
    • Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours — albeit only to mention that you simply will provide the requested information at a later date.
    • Ask before putting someone on speakerphone.
    • Personalize your voice mail — there’s nothing worse than simply hearing a telephone number on someone’s voice mail and not knowing if you’re leaving a message with the right person. People might not even leave messages.
    • Emails at work should be grammatically correct and free from spelling errors. They ought to not be treated like personal email.
    • When emailing, use the topic box, and confirm it directly relates to what you’re writing. This ensures ease finding it later and a potentially faster response.
    • Underlining, italicizing, bolding, coloring, and changing font size can make a light email message seem overly strong or aggressive.
  • Meetings: The environment of a gathering requires some careful navigation to take care of your professional image, whether the meetings are one-on-one, with several colleagues, or with external clients.
    • For a gathering in someone’s office, don’t arrive quite five minutes early, as they’ll be prepping for your meeting, another meeting later that day, or trying to urge other work done. You’ll make them uncomfortable, which isn’t an honest thanks for beginning your meeting.
    • Don’t arrive late… ever. If you’re getting to be late, attempt to let someone know in order that people aren’t sitting around expecting you. Don’t forget that being on time for a gathering means arriving 5 minutes early — for an interview, arrive 10 minutes early.
    • When a gathering runs late and you would like to be elsewhere, always be prepared to elucidate where you would like to be.
    • Do not interrupt people.
    • There may be a time and place for confrontation and a gathering has been nearly never that place. You’ll embarrass and anger people, and you’ll look bad for doing it. Give people time and space outside of meetings to reflect on issues that require to be addressed.
  • Workspace: You may spend more waking hours in workspaces than in your home space so:
    • Keep the space professional and neat with appropriate personal touches! People will see the space and consider it a mirror image of you.
    • Whether it’s a cubicle or office, respect others’ space. Don’t just walk in; knock or make your presence gently known. Don’t assume acknowledgment of your presence is a call for participation to take a seat down; wait until you’re invited to try to do so.
    • Don’t interrupt people on the phone and don’t attempt to communicate with them verbally or with signing. You’ll damage a crucial call.
    • Limit personal calls, especially if you’re employed, during a space that lacks a door.
    • Learn when and where it’s appropriate to use your telephone in your office.
    • Food consumption should generally be regulated. Smells and noise from food are often distracting to others.
  • International Business Etiquette: As the global market grows, the necessity to know multiple international standards of business etiquette grows. Research the country you’ll be working in or visiting; note the right etiquette, culture, and customs of that country. There are, however, a couple of key things to stay in mind when conducting business internationally:
    • Knowing the language makes a superb impression, on the people you’re doing business with. Barely knowing the language, but feigning fluency could really harm the work you’re trying to accomplish.
    • Be mindful of your time zones. You don’t want to wake someone abreast of their telephone or call someone with an unreasonable deadline or concern at a clumsy time of day for them.
    • As there’s no standard global workday, you ought to confine in mind that employment, hours vary from country to country. This is often important when scheduling meetings or conference calls.
    • Know the vacations which will be observed and be respectful of the time surrounding the vacations, as people could also be less available.
    • Meals are often extremely crucial in making a positive international business etiquette impression. The customs that are followed when dining is usually vital, and mistakes during this area might be costly. Knowing the etiquette well beforehand should allow you to relax and luxuriate in what might be a tremendous new experience!
    • Vigilantly observe the company culture during which you’re employed, and remember that change will happen. Your eyes and ears are your best resource during this learning process! Numerous resources exist online on the subject of business etiquette, and there are professional courses You’lll fancy to assist you to learn more.

Good manners make all the difference in our daily encounters within the workplace and may make an enormous difference to your career advancement opportunities. Here may be a list of rules of excellent manners that one should abide by within the workplace

  • Say please and many thanks.
  • Say hello and goodbye.
  • Don’t ignore people within the elevator.
  • Offer to urge coffee
  • Say “Excuse me.” If you would like someone to urge you out of your way if you encounter someone if you walk between two people having a conversation if you would like to interrupt a conversation, say “excuse me.”
  • Don’t interrupt. Ideally, you shouldn’t interrupt people when they’re speaking. Allow them to finish. If you want to interrupt, say “excuse me,” or if you catch yourself after the very fact, say “Sorry for interrupting you.”
  • Say “I’m sorry” if you intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone.
  • Hold the door. When you go through a door, always look behind you and see if anyone else is coming. If someone is, hold the door open for them for Pete’s sake. The same goes for when you are getting into the elevator and you see someone coming. HOLD THE ELEVATOR.
  • Turn your phone down or off when in the office.
  • Don’t check your phone in meetings or when someone speaks to you.
  • Don’t complain.
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice.
  • Don’t make personal remarks about someone’s appearance or clothing.
  • Clean up after yourself.

Workplace Etiquette

Do\’s Don\’t
Do arrive early. Don’t “Reply All” to an email chain.
Do network with people outside of your cubicle. Don’t have personal conversations at your desk.
Do be willing to help out a co-worker. Don’t bring your emotions into the office.
Do bring in goodies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Do create a proper personal email address. Don’t gossip about fellow co-workers… or your boss.
Do jump at the chance to complete a new task. Don’t use emojis or multiple exclamation points (if any) in work emails.
Do be flexible. Don’t talk back to your boss.
Do dress appropriately for the office. Don’t forget that at work socials, you’re still at work.
Do make sure your earbuds are plugged in securely to your computer. Don’t be nervous, but also don’t overstep your boundaries.
Do be open-minded. Don’t forget an umbrella.
Do wear a smile. Don’t come to work sick
It’s okay to make mistakes!


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