Etiquette is your first impression when it comes to interacting with others. In any conversation or interaction, non-verbal communication or in other words, your posture, gestures and expression and how your present yourself matters. Etiquette defines who you are. Especially more in an office/ work environment. In a space where everyone is on their feet at all times, the minimal interaction you have with people counts and matters a lot. Office etiquette is an unwritten norm that is the cornerstone of success in any field, so it’s best to know them well. Whether it is the office veteran, or the new professional, it is imperative that everyone knows how to conduct business AND themselves in the workplace.
Office etiquette has become such an important part of any office that many companies and organizations now have a week long course that helps new professionals and entrants familiarize themselves with these norms to help adjust better to the new setting. Knowing and presenting yourself with etiquette is what helps many during the time of promotions, appraisals and meetings. So the more you know the better!
Here are some important etiquettes that you should keep in mind –
- Be Punctual – ALWAYS
Punctuality is THE MOST important etiquette to remember while working in any office. Whether you’re the employee or the employer, the boss or the junior, this is one thing you cannot forget. Being late is something that any working professional should avoid. Arriving early or dot on time portrays you as a dedicated worker who’s up for business. And that matters when in an office.
- Know the Dress Code
You won’t see a law firm employee wearing a denim jacket and sneakers. Nor will you find a boss wearing a tee to work. That is because every office or work setting has a dress code to adhere to. Know what your office dress code is and wear your clothes appropriately. A crisp and smartly dressed employee not only shows you’re in for the business, but also gives you that added dose of motivation!
- Names – Remember them!
The secret to a healthy work environment is when you socialize and talk to your colleagues. Building a relationship helps, and the first step to that is to remember their names! It goes a long way in stepping up the ladder.
- Be Formal
How you correspond within your office is always noted upon. In-office conversations happen through emails. That is why you should be formal in your emails. Write your mails as formal letters, with salutations and designation points. In the long run, you will be known for your professionalism, even among your colleagues!
- Credit Should Be Shared
Group tasks are known to be challenging. However, do not rush for the spotlight. Team work means contribution and collaboration. Share the credit. This not only helps build trust between your team, but also makes future collaborations a fun task as well!
- Stay Back At Times
Punctuality might be the IT rule or coming in, but NOT for leaving. Arriving on time shows dedication, but staying back to complete the job truly cements it. Be it any project or deadline, staying back for some time, especially for a new employee portrays your diligence and commitment towards your work, and will reward you in the future.
- Workspace – Keep it Organized ALWAYS
Like the dress code, how you keep your workspace if different from company to company. Some might like to keep it casual, like a personal space, while some maintain a straight up business space. But not matter what the general theme is, always keep your space clean and organized. Clean space, clean mind and more productivity!
- Don’t Overdo the Multitasking
Yes, productivity matters in the workspace. But overdoing might just lead to you being shunned later on. Don’t schedule back to back meetings. Keep some buffer space between the two in case one runs late. You’ll be able to make it to the other one ON TIME. Also, while in meeting, listen to what is being said. Listening is key, it makes the other person feel you are truly invested in that meeting.
- Know When To Push Back
Sometimes you need to take a backseat. If you are unwell, do not go to work. It is not the best time to show your commitment to work. Stay back at home and recuperate. For starters, going to work when sick will not only give others the flu, but you might also face backlash for it. A healthy body and mind leads to good work and outcomes, but not if you are unwell.
- Stick to the Schedule
Meetings might be important, but so is sticking to the schedule. This will not only let you make it to other meetings on time, but will also let others use the common spaces to conduct their meetings. Keeping others waiting is not a good example.
It is understandable if you aren’t the one leading or fixing the meeting, but it is an important rule to keep in mind when and if you do conduct any in the future.
That being said, there are some other seemingly small things you should keep in mind –
- Do not use the phone or check your mail during meetings.
- Do not lose your cool at any point of time, on anyone. Professionalism is key.
- Respect your colleague’s opinion as well. Listen to suggestions. You never know what might help.
- Do not be loud while on the phone, or during a conversation. It sounds unprofessional and attention grabbing.
- Do not hold meeting in your desk space or cubicle. Crowded space means no attention.
Always remember, your performance at work is only a part of your image at work. What is seen is your attitude, focus, dedication and etiquettes at work. A swift promotion is not achieved that easily, it requires work, a LOT of work. Following work etiquette is an important step towards the climb up the ladder.
So remember, etiquette is key. So work at it and be the boss you know you can be!