Essential Workplace Etiquette Professionals Need to Know

2019-10-11T07:31:06+00:00February 18, 2016|

 Etiquette is a French term for “ticket.” Meaning, it’s a ticket of prescribed practices to a proper social behavior even in your workplace. Some of the important office etiquette one must have is proper manner and behavior toward leaders, colleagues, and clients. Without it, the organization and interaction at work will never run smooth. Hence, in our office decorum, let us heed the words of Clarence Thomas, an Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States: “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot,” 

Basic Yet Important Office Etiquette Tips You Must Follow

Here are some important office etiquette tips. Majority of them are pretty basic and therefore, should not be hard to put into practice.

Be punctual

Being punctual shows you respect your colleagues’ time. Whether it’s an important meeting with a client or just a regular day in the office, always arrive on time.

Dress appropriately and conservatively

The workplace is not your house or a party place. Respect comes from how you present yourself to others, so follow the proper office dress code. If it’s allowed to wear casual clothes, make sure not to make it too revealing.

Ask before borrowing

Have you encountered a colleague who just grabs stuff without asking? An important office etiquette is to not forget to ask permission before you borrow things. That way they’ll treat your things with the same respect.

Respect other’s need for privacy

Don’t read anyone’s text messages, fax files, documents, and e-mails. If you need to talk about something important, find an empty cubicle or conference room where you can discuss the issue privately.

Stand when being introduced to someone

According to Business Insider’s cited statement from “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success” by Barbara Pachter, standing when being introduced to someone helps build up your presence.

Say your full name

In a business setting, it’s vital to introduce yourself by saying your full name. But if your name is too long or too difficult to pronounce, you can change or shorten it. You can also write down the pronunciation on a business card and give it to them.

Initiate handshake

Regardless of the gender, the higher-ranking person should initiate the handshake. In case that person forgets to do so, the lower-ranking person should not hesitate to extend his/her hand.

Sit properly

Sitting with legs crossed can be too distracting or too provoking for a professional. But it’s more than just that. Patcher also adds it’s bad for the blood circulation as it increases the pressure on your veins.

Don’t interrupt

Don’t interrupt anyone when they’re on the phone or having a conversation with the other person. Wait for them to finish or ask them to see you when they’re through.

Never gossip

They say, “People who gossip to you will gossip about you.” It’s okay to spend time chit-chatting with your colleagues during break time, but when the conversation shifts from causal to gossiping, it’s time to get back to work.

Hold back on your perfume

Just because your eau de toilette smells nice to you doesn’t mean it also smells nice to others. Worst case scenario is they might be allergic to it. Spray only a bit of perfume or don’t wear it at all if you can’t control yourself.

Avoid bringing smelly foods

Eating smelly foods at work offends your colleagues. Save your craving for a can of tuna or sardines later at dinner time. One important office etiquette that coworkers appreciate is not to spread the powerful smell within the workplace.

Let them pull their own chairs

This mostly applies to gentlemen. As cited by Business Insider, Barbara Pachter adds, it’s okay to hold open a door for guests or female colleagues. But don’t pull out the chairs for them. Just leave it to them; they can pull their own chairs.

Don’t come to work when you’re too sick

Two things: One, don’t go to work if you’re too sick or contagious. Two, don’t take a day off because you’re “kind of” not feeling well.

Say “Please,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” and “I’m sorry.”

There are three golden rules you should follow under this category:

  •  Should you have a request, say, “Please,”
  • When a person gives you something or does you a favor, say, “Thank you.”
  • If they gratify you for completing a task, say, “You’re welcome.”
  • When you make a mistake, say, “I’m sorry.”

Even the workplace needs a role model. Lead a good example by following these simple etiquettes. You may not include these to the “skills” part in your resume, but we guarantee that once you put them into practice, the valuable life lesson you get will transform you into a better being.

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Sources: Business Insider, Inc., Andy Core, SlideShare
Photo credit: Lander. via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA