Workplace Etiquette: Setting a Professional Tone in Every Workplace

5 min read
Professionals talking know the workplace etiquette

How you present yourself and come across to others at work always matters, whether you are just beginning your first internship or have years of work experience under your belt. Embodying workplace etiquette is more than complete attendance, having deep and meaningful conversations with your fellow workmates, and being the best employee of the month. It all boils down to setting a professional tone to build new professional relationships and ensure an enjoyable and thriving experience in the workplace.

In this blog, we’ll go through every detail of workplace etiquette: what workplace etiquette means; why it is necessary in the workplace; the dos and don’ts, and some of the office etiquette rules, particularly in email, phone, restroom, and communication. Also, we’ll have a quick walkthrough of the guide for professionalism in the workplace. Let’s get going.

What is Workplace Etiquette?

Workplace etiquette is a rule that regulates social behavior standards in the workplace. It highlights a broad range of topics for workers, which include but are not limited to body language, behavior, technological use, and everyday conversations.

In essence, workplace etiquette concerns how you act with employees, potential business partners, and clients. It comes down to showing respect for others, being mindful of everyone around you, and generally being courteous.

Why is Workplace Etiquette Important?

Workplace etiquette is extremely important since it can build respect among colleagues. You foster a collaborative environment when you practice proper manners. In this way, each team will instantly feel valued, understood, and integral to fulfilling the company’s goals. The team’s collective effectiveness can be maximized by setting clear expectations for manners among all members.

The following details are meant to draw attention to a few crucial places where manners need to be taken into account. Please keep in mind that each person’s distinct identity and culture can affect what they may consider ethical. This can sometimes be challenging when you consider who you are and the firm’s expectations.

Workplace Etiquette Rules

A man listening to workmate talking about workplace etiquette
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Office Etiquette Dos and Don’ts


  • Find the good in everyone you work with and highlight it.
  • Be kind and courteous to everyone, including coworkers, supervisors, and office guests.
  • Respect other people’s privacy and personal space in both their private and public settings.
  • Accept responsibility for errors, extend an apology, and offer a fix.
  • Always deflect praise directed personally to you on something you did with the team.
  • Limit the use of speakerphones, keep personal music at a low volume, and minimize noise.
  • Always clean up after yourself.


  • Lying, being dishonest, or stealing.
  • Exhausting your colleagues’ resources without their permission.
  • Using vulgar language, as well as making crude, racial, or sexist jokes.
  • Participating in office rumors and gossip.
  • Making arguments personal, especially when professional discussions come to a head.


Maintain shared equipment (copiers, fax machines, kitchen appliances); fix what you can or notify the person in charge of such tasks as needed.

Email Etiquette in the Workplace


  • Use titles (Mr., Ms., Dr.) to address email recipients unless you have been given permission to address them by first name.
  • Send mail with a proper salutation (Dear ____) and a closing (Sincerely).
  • Make sure there are no typographical, grammatical, punctuational, or spelling issues in your message.
  • “Please” and “thank you” should be used.
  • Be considerate of the recipient’s time and write clear, informative messages.


  • Sending private data over the internet.
  • Writing in all capital letters or exclamation points excessively, since doing so is equivalent to shouting.
  • Using acronyms unless the receiver is completely aware of the meaning of the acronym.


Email is a less suitable medium if the message you need to convey is more serious.

Related Article: Basic Ethics When Sending E-mails at Work

Phone Etiquette in the Workplace


  • Rarely use your phone; only take urgent or important calls.
  • Your ringer should be off.
  • Allow missed calls to go to voicemail.


  • Using your phone while at work to browse social media.


Be considerate of your loudness and make an effort to keep your call as brief as possible if you are making or receiving it in an area where others are working.

Restroom Etiquette in the Workplace


  • Never leave a dirty restroom.
  • When you are inside, carefully lock the door.
  • Do not repeatedly knock on the doors or peek under them to see if anyone is inside.
  • Never neglect to flush after finishing. If the flush is not working, do not hesitate to call the restroom attendant.
  • Every time you use the bathroom, make it a point to wash your hands with antiseptic soap or sanitizer.


  • Spending too much time in the bathroom.
  • Throwing anything into the trash.
  • Leaving the restrooms without turning off the faucets, lights, and fans
  • Keeping unwanted hair and soap wrappers in the wash bowl


Whenever the toilet is dirty, ask the attendant to clean it.

Workmates talking about workplace etiquette
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Communication Etiquette in the Workplace

It can be essential for accomplishing duties and projects to know how to respectfully communicate with others in the workplace.


  • Positivity should be what you convey to everyone you come into contact with.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with everyone.
  • To prevent misunderstandings, use inquiries to get more information.


  • Sharing too much personal information, such as political opinions, religious affiliations, marital issues, health problems, and dire financial straits.
  • Complaining, and those who complain frequently.


  • Avoid conflict if someone is being combative with you. Prior to responding, let yourself calm down and think of potential solutions rather than the issues at hand.
  • Be conscious of the timing and manner of your delivery, and only voice discontent after carefully weighing whether it is worthwhile to do so.

Guide for Professionalism in the Workplace

Companies require more than just competence. They also look for candidates who will behave professionally in the workplace. For that reason, it is indispensable to understand that nearly everyone tries their very best to work on their workplace etiquette.

Here’s a quick guide on how to be professional in your respective career endeavors.

1. Respect your commitments.

Being consistently responsible for your assignments and other commitments will demonstrate that you are a responsible individual who can take the necessary actions to complete a task.

2. Be observant, receptive, and proactive.

Showing that you’re invested enough to pay attention at work is one of the easiest and most effective methods to display professionalism. Taking notes during meetings, posing pertinent queries, or even just displaying receptive body language are examples of how to do this.

3. Learn about the culture at work.

Generally speaking, the workplace culture varies. Because of this, whenever you begin a new position, it’s crucial to understand as much as you can about the cultural norms. An excellent example is choosing the appropriate outfit for the office.

4. Limit personal matters as much as possible.

Because the main objective of workplace etiquette is to show respect for your company and your coworkers, you should steer clear of any actions that can hinder their ability to do their jobs effectively.

5. Avoid office politics, especially its bad aspects.

The fact is that, by virtue of your employment, you already play a role in the political climate of your company. However, there are a few techniques to maintain optimism in the following situations:

  • Find areas of agreement with your coworkers.
  • Don’t strive to make others appear awful.
  • Be aware of your position within the greater corporate hierarchy.
  • Put the success of the firm before personal “wins.”
A woman listening to advisor about workplace etiquette
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Read More Workplace Tips from Our Career Experts

Regardless of what success means to you personally, practicing workplace etiquette will help you succeed. Just acknowledging and employing the basic office etiquette rules can have an eminently positive impact on the entire workplace and among workers.

Read more about Best10ResumeWriters’ blogs on workplace culture, career advice, and work management to begin establishing a strong and stable career. Best of luck!