Office Etiquette You Should Know and Follow

3 min read
Three woman smiling and showing courtesy to each other to develop a professional bond

People’s upbringing has become a basis for their behavior. Today, how people treat others builds the foundation of lasting relationships. Respect and proper office etiquette may be too simple to do, yet, they are easier said than done. Apparently, rudeness remains a common issue in the workplace—without knowing its effects on human interaction.

Read on and learn the importance of proper etiquette and how it differs from manners and courtesy. Further, get tips to becoming a well-mannered person while working with diverse people.

Etiquette, Manners, and Courtesy Defined

Though manners, etiquette, and courtesy appear to suggest the same thing, they actually mean different concepts. Here’s how dictionaries define them:


Manners or social conduct are the ways of behaving regarding polite standards.


A set of conventional rules as to social behavior, referring to conduct as established in any class or community.


The way of showing politeness toward others.

A Study on Manners and Courtesy

Good manners and courtesy aren’t technical matters. Yet, studies on recruitment and career growth raise the need to practice them regularly.

A study revealed the reasons office workers get annoyed with their colleagues. These include use of cell phones during meetings, leaving the tables or the kitchen area messy, and not greeting them.

The Basics of Courtesy: Relearned

Whether you’re a team leader or rank-and-file employee, be courteous at all times. Consider doing these simple things:

  • Introduce yourself and other people.
  • Listen when someone is speaking.
  • Build a rapport with your audience.
  • Say “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” and “thank you.”
  • Open and hold the door for others.
  • Give compliments.
  • Leave a “Thank you” note.
  • Respect other people’s time.

Why Office Etiquette Matters

Good traits promote a harmonious working space for each worker. Further, it eases the stress and conflict among employees. A workplace with rude workers will surely bring a bad impact to the business.

What is the bad office etiquette you need to shun to keep a pleasant working environment? Here’s a short list: gross behavior, bad language, never buying a round, not giving due credit, boasting about salary, and talking behind people’s back.

6 Common Office Rules for Employees

Let these office etiquette rules guide everyone in the workplace:

  1. Respect other people’s need to work.
  2. Reduce noise.
  3. Always come tidy.
  4. Respect one’s work space.
  5. Take an absence when you’re sick.
  6. Always be considerate and tolerant.

What a Professional Should Do

Smiles and eye contact build great perceptions about you. Likewise, your appearance will create an impression of you as a professional. Hence, wear business casual attire when coming to work. In addition, stay clean and neat during your shift, wear a mild-scented perfume, and avoid chewing gum in front of someone or in public places. Follow these to make you look professional and well-mannered.

Now, how will you stay courteous while speaking? Heed these tips:

  • Watch your words. Don’t be sarcastic. Avoid using obscene language.
  • Be wary of the places where you hold conversations.
  • Explain acronyms and jargon so everyone will understand them.
  • Avoid expressions such as, “I guess,” “I hope,” “maybe,” and “perhaps,” making you appear unsure of what to say.

Must-Do During Meetings

Two women greeting each other through hand shaking to show office etiquette and courtesy

  • Prepare the things needed for the meeting.
  • Turn off your mobile phone once the discussion starts.
  • Make a backup plan should the equipment fail.
  • Avoid sidebar chit-chats.
  • Pay attention to the speaker.
  • Don’t take or make calls. If needed, seek permission to go out.
  • Check your presentation for spelling and grammar errors.

With rules on office etiquette set in place, respect will sure reign supreme in the workplace. The outcome? Happiness. Each worker feels happy with a setting where professionalism and respect thrive.

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Sources: | Entrepreneur | Open Sourced Workplace | Universal Class | CareerAddict
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