Thriving in today’s professional workplace requires more than just excellent communication skills and mutual respect. The little things matter as well. From being on time for meetings to upholding the company dress code, here are five things you need to know about professional etiquette in today’s workplace.
Here are 5 things you need to know about professional etiquette in today’s workplace:
1. Respect for Personal Property
When you’re spending most days at work, it’s only natural to need a few personal possessions from home in the workplace to help you make it through. A packed lunch in the company fridge, your own branded office accessories in your desk drawer, and that all-important family photo sitting by your computer are just a few of the many items that end up making their way to work.
Having respect for personal property is crucial to a harmonious working environment. Refrain from touching anything that isn’t yours, and you can often expect the same in return. This can mean never consuming anything from the fridge that isn’t yours and not taking stationery and other items from your co-workers unless you have permission.
2. Follow Your Workplace’s Dress Code
Business casual and casual are among the most common workplace dress codes, but that doesn’t mean your workplace fits into those categories. All businesses are different. Refer to your employee onboarding information to see what your employer recommends as its dress code.
If your business doesn’t have one, pay attention to what your co-workers are wearing. Refrain from wearing anything that might stand out for the wrong reasons, like ill-fitting, ripped, torn, or stained garments.
3. Refine Your Meeting Manners
You might be an avid supporter of the ‘this could have been an email’ club, but that doesn’t mean you should lose your manners when attending mandatory meetings. Be on time for appointments to show respect for others’ time and ensure you don’t miss anything important.
Practicing good professional etiquette is also vital. This includes avoiding interrupting others while they speak and muting mobile phones and other devices to ensure they don’t become a distraction. Showing this level of respect is highly appreciated by meeting hosts.
4. Respect Confidentiality
While there’s normally nothing wrong with venting to your spouse after a frustrating day in the office, there can be value in respecting confidentiality. This can mean honoring confidentiality agreements and respecting your colleagues’ privacy. Keeping company information private can also be crucial since you usually agree to this in your employee contract or as part of a non-disclosure agreement.
Think carefully before you speak about other people. While there may not always be any serious legal repercussions, there can be moral ones when people learn that anything they tell you in confidence is not always kept private.
5. Brush Up On Email Etiquette
Whether you’re an avid or occasional emailer, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on email etiquette. You might then avoid issues arising from miscommunication or misinterpretation. Always use a professional and respectful tone, regardless of who you’re emailing. Refrain from using all capital letters and excessive punctuation.
While you’re likely busy, don’t underestimate the importance of responding to emails in a timely fashion. You may not have time to address the contents of their email, but you can at least confirm the receipt of the email at a minimum.
As challenging as the average professional etiquette in the workplace can be with many different personalities, it’s reasonably straightforward for employees to maintain their professionalism. Respect your colleagues and their property, be on time, and abide by the dress code. You may then enjoy a harmonious working environment built on mutual respect.