7 Basic Office Etiquette That Will Help You Build A Successful Career
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Etiquette is a word that has the power to dredge up childhood memories of dinnertime reprimands: Elbows off the table! Napkin in your lap! Excuse yourself before leaving the table! Most of us likely have mastered table manners by now (or at least know not to talk with a full mouth).
But what about office etiquette? Did you know that there is work etiquette? Below are some of the most overlooked work related manners that you need to adhere to.
Etiquette Required At Your Workplace
1. Do not text or Facebook in the office
Hey… it’s just a quick text to a friend confirming your after-work plans. No problem there, right? If it happens during a meeting or presentation; as harmless as it may seem, the person you’re supposed to be giving your attention to will notice, and it can end up straining workplace relationships.
Even outside of a meeting, using social media and doing other personal stuff distracts from the work at hand. Bottom line: no one is that good at multitasking, and productivity will suffer.
2. Keep professional boundaries
For the most part, the days of private offices and high cubicle walls are gone. But does an open workplace mean personal space is a thing of the past? No. You should pretend that the walls are still there.
Send an e-mail to see if someone is available to chat, rather than just barging into their space, don’t sneak up behind someone, announce yourself as you approach and knock on the edge of their desk when you arrive. You should respect co-workers’ personal space.
3. Dress appropriately for work
Dress to fit the workplace. “You want to blend in,” “Fit in with those around you.” Use the boss as a gauge. If the boss comes in khakis and a short sleeve shirt, that’s a good indication that casual dress is appropriate for the office.
4. Excuse yourself to take personal Phone calls
That call may be important to you, but it’s not vital your co-workers. Just like gossip, loud phone conversations in the office can distract people from their work.
Phone conversations in the workplace should be kept down to a “polite murmur.” And if it’s a personal call, take it elsewhere. Also, don’t use a speaker phone (unless, of course, it’s necessary for the call).
5. Strive to learn something new
Confidence is good, but arrogance, is not. Don’t hold back your good ideas, but have respect for what people already have done at the company, even if you would have done it differently.
6. Don’t Job Search on company time
Don’t use company resources to look for new employment. It demonstrates a lack of respect and loyalty to your current employer. Also, remember not to tell co-workers about your job search. The information will leak out and can damage your position at your current job before you’ve found a new one.
7. Avoid gossiping in the office
Don’t be the source of gossip in the office — whether it’s about your life or someone else’s — or a participant in it. Gossip distracts people from their work and can create an unprofessional environment. You can deflecting gossip in the workplace – saying you’re too busy to chat, for example – and moving the conversation to a personal space, such as meeting for a drink after work.