Etiquette in the Workplace

More often these days you hear people talking about a certain behavior from someone usually a co-worker that disturbs everyone. These certain behaviors are a total annoyance to people especially around the working environment. Recent discussions around different sectors of industry have proved that young people are mainly the culprits of misbehavior in the working environment. It might be an intern who is always late for work or who does not even have respect for the senior staffers.

In this article, we are going to talk about the etiquette of the working environment which obviously will establish a good relationship with your co-workers and also avoid yourself from getting fired.

What is Etiquette?

Etiquette, the complex network of rules that govern good behavior and our social and business interactions, is always evolving and changing as society changes. It reflects our cultural norms, generally accepted ethical codes, and the rules of various groups we belong to.

It helps us show respect and consideration to others and makes others glad that we are with them. Without proper manners and etiquette, the customs of polite society would soon disappear and we would act more like animals and less like people. Aggressiveness and an “every man for himself” attitude would take the lead.

Now that you have a glimpse of what we mean, we are going to outline the 10 Basics of Business Etiquette.

1. Arrive on Time

In the business world, it is best to observe the old rule, “Five minutes early is late.” Allow yourself enough time to arrive promptly, take off your coat, and settle in a bit. Arriving at a meeting exactly at the appointed time can make you feel rushed, and you will look it. Time is a commodity; by being punctual, you show you respect others.

2. Dress Appropriately for Work

While appropriate dress certainly varies from field to field and climate to climate, some things remain the same. Clean, pressed clothing without any loose threads or tags and relatively polished, closed-toe shoes are a must.

If you are having a day out in the field its always good to bring your PPE and follow the basic safety rules of the space that you are in.

In most cases, your dress code will also earn you some respect among your co-workers. It does not matter if you spend most of your days out in the field, if its time for a formal event you are always expected to wear appropriate dressing for the occasion. And be sure not over dress yourself, its just work not a fashion show.

3. Speak Kindly of Others

Taking care to greet your co-workers and remembering to say “please” and “thank you” make a tremendous difference in the way they perceive you. Your good manners show that you acknowledge those around you and are considerate of their presence. Avoid discussing political or religious matters. Peoples views a different depending on where they come from, you do not want to ruin a good friendship in the work place.

Keep the conversation focused on noncontroversial topics, so your co-workers find you easy to talk to. That sort of diplomacy is the basic idea of business etiquette.

4. Avoid Gossip or Eavesdropping

Gossip and eavesdropping are childish behaviors that have no place in the workplace. If you hear a rumor about someone in the workplace, do not pass it on. People don’t always know or remember who starts a rumor, but they always remember who spreads it. If you walk into an area, and it seems your co-workers don’t know you are there, make sure to greet them politely to remove any chance that you accidentally eavesdrop on their conversation.

5. Show Interest in Others

Showing interest goes beyond work etiquette into general politeness, but it bears repeating: When speaking with someone, show you are truly engaged. Do not play on your phone or computer, and if you have to answer a communication say, “Excuse me one moment; I’m so sorry.”

Maintain friendly eye contact. Listen.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

6. Watch Your Body Language

A handshake is still the typical greeting. Say hello with a firm but quick handshake. This handshake is the extent of how much you should ever touch a co-worker – when it doubt, just don’t touch. Hugs or other types of affection that you share with friends and family are out of place in the workplace. Avoid creating unnecessary awkward situations.

7. Introduce Yourself and Others

Sometimes you can tell people do not remember your name or position. Introduce or reintroduce yourself quickly if that seems to be the case. If you are with a co-worker who is new, take the time to introduce them to others. It helps to have a friendly person make you feel comfortable in the office.

If you are new and especially a student, do not be shy. Introduce yourself so that everyone knows you before they start wondering who you are.

8. Don’t Interrupt Others

When you have a great idea or suddenly remember something important, it can be tempting to blurt it out. Do not do this. Interrupting the person who is speaking sends the message that what they are saying isn’t as important as what you have to say. Demonstrating you are an attentive listener is the backbone of diplomacy. Imagine how you would feel if someone was to do that during your own presentation.

9. Mind Your Mouth

Using vulgar language is a surefire way to become unpopular in your workplace. Vulgar language includes swear words and judgmental language. Work etiquette requires being constantly mindful that you are in a diverse environment with people you do not know on a personal level. Speak as though someone from human resources is always listening.

10. Consume Food and Drink Correctly

If you attend an after-hours work event, do not drink too much alcohol. When at work, take care not to bring particularly malodorous foods that everyone in the office can’t help but smell. Don’t make noises during or after you eat; no one wants to hear that.

Taking care to treat everyone as the valuable people they are says a lot about who you are as a person. That is the kind of care people notice and want to be around. Embrace the basics to become a lasting employee or to advance through the corporate ranks.

After following all these 10 guidelines you are guaranteed of getting a good recommendation when you are looking for a next job. If you are an Intern, your chances of having a permanent contact are increased by up to 70%. Never take these for granted.