Courteous, well mannered, cultured, polite are the words used to mention a person’s best behavior at work and in family alike. In the business world how you present yourself would speak volumes of your personality. Success of any business entity is mainly based on Good Relationships. Manners and Etiquettes have subtle effect in developing these relationships. Workplace is the area that brings in different talents, different experiences and puts one in session with the people otherwise not chosen to be with. Much more to that, workplace does not give any opportunity to choose people as we do in our social life. If things go wrong at work, it may be difficult to find a way out, that’s where Etiquette comes handy to smooth the way.
What does Work Etiquette means? The definition says “It is the code that guides the expectations of the social behavior in the workplace, in a society, or in a group”. One should also bear in mind that there are no standard rules set out as work etiquette; it varies from one environment to another.
These Dos and Don’ts should give you a fair idea as to how to conduct yourself with dignity and poise, irrespective of you being right or wrong.
1. Dress Appropriately: There will be dress codes in certain organization that should be followed. If you have the liberty to wear dress of your choice please bear in mind that you are working in the office and not going to any party, hence dress sensibly and look smart.
2. Make Punctuality a Habit: Coming to work on time sends a positive message to your co- workers about you. It shows that you respect time and in turn you expect the same from others as well.
3. Use Please, Thank You and Sorry: Using Please, Thank You, and Sorry while talking, as well as on mails will keep the office mood in spring. Saying Hello to the people in the vicinity while you enter, saying “Thank You” to your colleagues is a note of acknowledgment and your colleagues will love you for this. Similarly, saying “Sorry” in a casual tone will prevent any water cooler talk into exploding to office politics.
4. Be Organized: Keeping your cubicle or desk messy sends a clear wire that you are unorganized and always confused, hence keep it organized. Same extends for any digital assets you may be sharing with other members, e.g. Shared folders, Shared documents etc. When out of office, make arrangements to have your mails and other correspondences auto forwarded to appropriate departments (or your mobile device which you can access on the road). Issue a generic reply that you are unavailable and do not forget to include the note on when to expect your reply.
5. Be Sociable, but maintain reasonable distance: Don’t be a snob, be sociable. However, at the same time respect peoples personal space, as well.
1. Don’t indulge in office gossips: These gossips just build tension between co-workers and are a waste of time; instead, foster constructive and positive talks that go a long way in building good relationships.
2. Don’t Use Social Media: Use social media like facebook, twitter if it is required for the job purpose only. Always restrict using personal social media sites at work. Also, refrain from sharing confidential company matters on social media, unless you are explicitly asked to.
3. Don’t Use Cell Phones/Laptops during Meetings: Steer clear of from all your gadgets like cell phones, laptops while in a meeting, as people demand your attention and expect an intelligent response.
4. Don’t Persistently Interrupt People At Work: If your co worker is on a call and you need a clarification, don’t hang around; instead tap on the shoulder and hint him/her that you need a minute or you can leave note on the table to call you back. You may not know if your co-worker is on an official call, so please wait till he/she is finished.
5. Don’t Be Loud Enough To Disturb Others: Typically for an office with cubicles or an office without any doors, do not talk in a loud voice disturbing others. If it is a time consuming personal call, take a walk down the corridor, or find a room where you can close the door. Keep silence in areas where colleagues are on official calls or at discussions. If a discussion requires more than a couple of minutes, find a conference room instead of distracting others, particularly, in shared office space.
This pretty much addresses the basic Work Etiquette across most offices. However, pay close attention to the subtle signs in your office culture and mould your habits accordingly. I believe if each and every employee educates themselves about and indulges in Work Etiquette; no work place will have to handle grievances of co-workers about their colleague’s bad behavior.