Office Etiquette Skills
Effective Tips, for Practicing Office Etiquette (With Examples)
When it comes to creating an productive work environment practicing office etiquette plays a crucial role. By understanding and adhering to the expectations of a setting you can show respect towards your co-workers. With practice you can make courteous behaviour a natural part of your routine. In this article we will discuss workplace etiquette. Provide tips on how to improve your business decorum.
Understanding Office Etiquette;
Office etiquette involves following the established code of conduct within the workplace. These guidelines outline the acceptable manners and behaviours to embrace while also highlighting those to avoid. By demonstrating manners at work you contribute to an environment characterised by respect. Co-workers are more likely to engage and excel in an atmosphere where individuals are polite, considerate and friendly.
Tips, for Demonstrating Good Workplace Etiquette;
Here are some introductory steps that can help you exhibit office etiquette;
- Greet others politely;
- Say “hello,” “good morning ” or “good afternoon.”
- Smile warmly. Maintain eye contact when interacting with co-workers or clients.
Introduce yourself with a handshake when meeting someone
Begin your greetings by addressing your colleagues by their names to add a touch. Engage in conversations, with both co-workers and clients whenever the opportunity arises. Initiate discussions with office acquaintances talking about events or achievements within the company. When chatting with strangers bring up topics like news or weather to break the ice. Establish connections with new acquaintances, including potential clients or professionals who can help advance your career.
Be aware of your surroundings especially when navigating through the office space. Show consideration for others when using doors; check behind you and hold them open for those following you. Extend courtesy by holding elevator doors for people who are approaching. Prioritise tasks that have an impact on your co-workers ensuring their accurate completion. Use phrases like “please”. Thank you” appropriately in your communication to teamwork and collaboration among colleagues. Make sure to silence your mobile phone while, at work to avoid disruptions caused by notifications. If you’re expecting a call set your phone to vibrate mode. Make sure to keep your phone on silent during meetings so that you don’t disturb your colleagues who’re nearby.
Give your attention when engaging in conversations. If you accidentally interrupt someone apologise for the interruption. During meetings leave your phone at your desk. Avoid using it while having one, on one discussions. Showing that you are fully engaged indicates interest in the conversation and the speakers ideas. Help maintain cleanliness in shared workspaces by returning tools or items to their places for easy access.
Keep surfaces like tables and counters clean by wiping them down regularly. A maintained workspace can enhance motivation and productivity within teams. Being punctual is an aspect of workplace etiquette. Show respect for others time and priorities by arriving on time for meetings and completing tasks within deadlines. Arrive a minutes early to ensure preparedness, for the days responsibilities when starting work. When scheduling meetings, allocate time for attendees to transition to their next engagements. To create an productive work environment it’s important to follow these guidelines and examples of office etiquette. By doing you’ll earn the respect and admiration of your peers and clients.
Choose the Break Room or Outdoor Dining Area
Stop eating at your desk, which can create distracting aromas that may bother your co-workers try to have your lunch, in designated areas like the break room or cafeteria. If possible consider dining from your workspace outdoors. This not minimises disruptions for your team but also allows you to refocus when you return to work.
In settings it’s best to dress modestly. In environments opt for simple and comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing jewellery that makes noise or has fragrances that could distract your co-workers from their tasks. If you’re unsure about the dress code refer to your employee handbook. Consult with a human resources representative, for guidance. When meeting with clients make an effort to dress appropriately for the occasion – whether it requires business attire or professional wear. Additionally consider aligning your clothing choices with the standards of your clients organisation.
For example if your client is employed in a company it’s wise to dress in business attire.
Use designated meeting areas
When conducting meetings that involve two or more participants schedule a meeting room. Use an office, for your discussions. Having meetings within your workspace may create noise that distracts your co-workers. To minimise disruptions close the door during meetings. Speak softly both during meetings and one on one conversations in the office. This ensures that those around you can maintain their concentration.
Pay attention to your body language
To ensure that your nonverbal signals align with what you say consider practicing communication. When engaged in conversations establish eye contact and nod appropriately to show that you are attentive. A smile can also convey your enthusiasm for the topic being discussed.
Maintaining a workplace
In todays world it often feels like we spend time at work than we do at home. Many of us dedicate a portion of our day, eight hours or more to being, in an office setting. This makes good office etiquette not important but necessary. Following workplace decorum creates an environment where individuals feel comfortable, appreciated and capable of performing their responsibilities. Observing workplace behaviour leaves an impression that lasts. To create a work environment and encourage interactions it’s important to follow some essential etiquette guidelines;
Make New Employees Feel Welcome; Take the initiative to introduce yourself to team members and give them an overview of your role, in the organisation. Offer assistance and guidance to help them adjust to their position. If they’re on your team consider inviting them for lunch on their day. Showing an welcoming attitude can greatly help them transition into the workplace.
Be Mindful of Your Body Language; when you’re not speaking your body language can convey messages. Pay attention to your cues during challenging mornings or moments of frustration. If you feel angry or irritated take a break in a space to regain composure. Maintaining professionalism in your body language on days is an important aspect of office etiquette.
Prioritise Punctuality; Whether its arriving at work or attending meetings being punctual shows respect, for others time. Arriving on time is a matter of courtesy. Demonstrates consideration for others. Aim to be five minutes early so that you’re fully prepared and respectful of your colleagues schedules.
To ensure communication it’s best to minimize the use of jargon. Instead focus on using concise language that accurately conveys your ideas. Excessive jargon can make your message confusing and difficult for others to understand.
When it comes to dressing for work it’s important to follow the established dress code guidelines. Whether your workplace has an casual dress code choose attire that’s simple and comfortable. Avoid wearing jewellery that makes noise or using overpowering fragrances that could distract your colleagues. If you’re unsure, about the dress code at your company consult with your HR department for clarification.
If you’re feeling unwell it’s advisable to stay and prioritise rest and recovery. This not helps you get faster but also prevents the spread of germs to your co-workers. Taking a day or two off can actually be more productive than attempting to work while sick. If working remotely is an option during illness consider taking advantage of it. When you do return to the office make sure to sanitise your workspace for an environment.
Respecting others downtime is essential in maintaining relationships with co-workers. Unless they have explicitly given permission or instructed otherwise avoid contacting them of office hours during their leave or while they’re, on vacation. Just as you value your time outside of work extend the courtesy to others.
Remember to knock on the door before entering any office space. It’s a way of signalling your presence and respecting others privacy. When visiting co-workers, in cubicles a gentle knock on the wall can announce your arrival. If someone seems engrossed in their work it’s always thoughtful to inquire if its a time to engage in conversation or schedule a suitable time to meet.
When listening to music be mindful of your co-workers preferences. Keep the volume at a level that doesn’t disrupt their workflow. Wearing headphones is a way to enjoy music without affecting others.
During meetings give your attention to the agenda and participants. Avoid answering phone calls, texting or checking emails as these actions can cause you to miss information. If you’re leading the meeting stay focused on the discussion. Make sure everyone is engaged.
Treat your co-workers workspaces as offices even if they don’t have doors. Always ask for permission before borrowing items, from their desk. Alternatively it’s best to have your supplies so you don’t intrude on their space.
Be considerate of any allergies that your co-workers may have by avoiding fragrances and being mindful of foods that could trigger reactions. Taking actions can help prevent discomfort and emergencies related to health. Exercise caution when connecting with co-workers, on media. Remember that anything you post online is not truly private or confidential. It’s best to avoid venting about your boss, company or co-workers on platforms as excessive complaining could negatively impact your career.
If you need to make phone calls try to find a room with a door if possible. In an office setting find an area where you can have a private conversation. If neither option is available try to keep the call brief or schedule a time to call the person back.
By following these guidelines of office etiquette you can contribute to creating an respectful workplace environment. This will encourage interactions and professionalism, among your colleagues.
David Alssema is a Body Language Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a performer in the personal development industry in Australia he has introduced and created new ways to inspire, motivate and develop individuals.
David Alssema started his training career with companies such as Telstra and Optus Communications, and then developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) within workplace training as principal of Paramount Training & Development.
As an author/media consultant on body language and professional development David has influenced workplaces across Australia. He contributes to Media such as The West Australian, ABC Radio, Australian Magazines and other Australia Media Sources.