How to Office Etiquette

Office behavior is a critical piece of your working environment identity. In this post, we will investigate a few tips which can be useful for you in the working environment…

There is a certain way in which we are expected to behave in different social situations. How we carry ourselves defines our personality to a large extent. Some people never seem to form strong relationships because they lack the know-how to behave in the right manner. While it is important to cultivate the requisite etiquette for all circumstances – be it a wedding or a funeral – it becomes indispensable in the office environment. Office isn’t just a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. It is much more than that, it encompasses our social and cultural life. Deviance from the acceptable behavior can mean that you stand out poorly among your colleagues and superiors. Therefore, it is in the interest of everyone to be courteous and well-organized. Mentioned below are some tips which can give you an insight into the office etiquette.

Office Etiquette : A Few Tips
Dress Appropriately

The dress code does vary across organizations, and what may be acceptable in one organization may not be allowed in another. But, every organization expects neatness and cleanliness from its employees. You can definitely go ahead and wear your favorite T-shirt and sneakers to office, but ensure that these are not unkempt. Offices which demand that you wear formal clothes generally pay more attention to the way their staffers dress up, so it becomes essential that you spend some time on personal grooming. Surveys over the years have shown that these factors do play a role when it comes to performance appraisals and promotions.

Avoid Tardiness

Organizations run on a tight schedule and expect their employees to adhere to the stipulated office timings. Keeping a client waiting or not being able to meet a deadline can have catastrophic effect on the business. Therefore, punctuality is of paramount importance in every organization. Failure to keep up with the office schedule reflects poorly on you and can frequent your trips to the HR’s office. Punctuality is an attribute that is required of all professionals, and an absence of this is considered a sign of callousness. In case you can’t make it on time, it would be great to inform your manager so that he can make someone fill-in for you till you arrive. This in no way should be abused because everyone has read the story of the shepherd boy!

Organize Your Workspace

This is one area where we all tend to be a little negligent. We generally presume that nobody gives a dime about how things are looking on our desk. But trust me, your co-workers will detest you if your desk is in a mess. Why? Simply because an unkempt workspace is an eyesore, and can be irritant to others. On the professional front, it will make life difficult for you in locating a document. And if you have a really bad day, you will find your boss waiting by your side while you try to retrieve that file from the heap of clutter. Keeping your space in an ordered manner isn’t too hard a task. Just spend some time organizing your desk before leaving for the day, it will help in keeping everything ordered.

Mind Your Language

The language you use with your subordinates, colleagues, and your superiors is indicative of your personality. You have to keep in mind that if you shoot off your mouth without much thought, you may inadvertently end up offending people. It is advisable to avoid any discussion on politics and religion. Using offensive language and slang is a strict no-no, unless you are desperately trying to get fired. It is a great way to start the day by greeting your colleagues and using appropriate salutations with your clients and superiors.

Telephone Etiquette

Keep your personal calls to a minimum, and ensure that you keep your decibel in check. It looks nice when you show some consideration for the people around you by stepping outside to attend an important call. While you are on a business call, it is expected that you follow the basic rules of conversing like greeting the person on the other side of the call, and speaking in a gentle tone. It helps your cause if you give a patient ear to the speaker without interrupting him. Also, avoid putting people on hold for too long, instead promise a call back.
Some other tips that you should keep in mind in office are:

  • If you did not have time for breakfast and want to have a quick bite in your cubicle, make sure that you lay napkins to keep your desk clean, and throw the wrappers in the dustbin.
  • If you are expecting any private visitors, make sure that they visit you after your office hours.
    Most of the employers provide Internet connection to the employees for official purposes, but ensure that you are not abusing the system by visiting social networking sites, blogs, etc.
  • While entering a room, make sure that you knock on the door and take permission from the person. If you have to borrow small things like marker, stapler, etc., do use the words ‘please’ , ‘thank-you’ etc. Such etiquette sends a message to your co-workers that you are thankful to them for their help.
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing in anyone’s direction and if you have done it inadvertently, make sure that you say ‘excuse me’. Use a handkerchief or a tissue paper if possible.
  • If you want to keep a picture of your dear ones on your desk, make sure that you are not going overboard. Having a collage of pictures at your desk makes your cubicle look very cluttered and inconsiderate.
  • Normally people turn up to work with a mild flu. But, make sure that you are not passing the infection to your co-workers. If you feel that you are putting others at risk by coming to office, try asking your boss for a day off.
  • If your job requires you to meet numerous clients and you are mostly out of the office, make sure that you divert all the calls to your cell phone. Expecting your co-workers to field all your calls can interfere with their routine.

Today, many organizations are conducting training to communicate the importance of behaving in the workplace. These programs have specialists guiding the employees about acceptable behavior in the workplace. Due to globalization, executives also need to have an understanding of other countries. What may be OK for an American client can be offensive for an Arab businessman. Apart from the office etiquette, one also needs to know about out-of-office etiquette. We hope that the tips given above will help you in improving your workplace personality.