What You Need to Know About Office Etiquette

By Brittany Loeffler on December 5, 2018

One of the first and most important things you will learn at your first job is office etiquette. Many people spend more of their time in their office, so it’s important to work in a pleasant environment. Office etiquette may sound like it is common sense, but there are some things that may annoy your coworkers that you are unaware of.

We’ve come up with the most basic rules of office etiquette so you can work in a comfortable and respectful environment.

office etiquette

via Pixabay

Be On Time

Nobody likes waiting for someone to start a meeting. Nobody likes walking in late to a meeting after it has already started. So, to avoid both of these situations, try your best to be on time to meetings and into the office in the morning. Time management can be difficult for some people, especially during an especially busy day. Set reminders on your phone before meetings so you don’t lose track of time and can prepare to leave.

If you are in charge of scheduling meetings, make sure you have enough time to travel from meeting to meeting instead of scheduling them back-to-back. Punctuality is one of the biggest forms of office etiquette.

Be Conscious While on the Phone

If you work in an open office or with cubicles, be conscious of how loudly you are speaking on the phone. While you may be on a work call, someone near you may be trying to concentrate on a project distracted by your conversation. Keep your voice at a lower level so you don’t disturb any of your coworkers.

When it comes to personal calls, keep them short or take them away from your desk. Go into the break room, lounge or lobby, or outside if you really have to talk. You don’t want to lay your personal life out for everyone in the office.

Clean Up After Yourself

This one may seem pretty obvious, but how many times have you seen a dirty dish in the communal kitchen or trash in the bathroom? In order to keep a clean workplace, you have to clean up after yourself.

If you heat up your lunch in the microwave and it splatters, make sure to wipe it down with a paper towel so it’s clean for the next person. Throw out your trash instead of leaving it on the break room tables or on the floor in the bathroom. Your coworkers will definitely appreciate it.

office etiquette

via Pixabay

Pay Attention in Meetings

Remember back in high school when you weren’t allowed to use your cell phone during class because it was rude and you should pay attention to what your teacher had to say? Take that mentality into office meetings as well. Part of office etiquette is paying attention during a meeting and actively listening to whoever is leading the meeting. That means taking notes, asking questions, and making eye contact. If you have to answer a text or call that is work-related, quietly excuse yourself from the meeting.

Stay Home When You’re Sick

It may be tempting to go into the office if you are sick because you have deadlines, important meetings, or don’t feel like using one of your sick days. However, keep in mind that your healthy coworkers do not want to catch your sickness. When you go into the office when you are sick, you put everyone at risk.

The best thing to do is to stay home and rest so you can get better as quickly as possible. That way you can go back to work and catch up on missed work.

Use Punctuation in Your Emails

The emotion and meaning of texts and emails can be hard to gauge without proper punctuation. While it may seem childish to use exclamation points at the end of sentences, it may be necessary when sending emails. “Nice job on this project! Thanks, Michelle,” sounds a lot better than “Thanks. -Michelle.” Don’t be afraid to be friendly towards your coworkers. Don’t overdo it on the emojis or exclamation points though.

Be Respectful

The number one rule of office etiquette is to always be respectful of everyone you work with. While you may not necessarily like everyone you work with, you still have to be respectful and kind. That means holding the door open for someone, greeting your coworkers, and working together as a team when necessary. When you show others respect, you will receive respect.

Learn Office Etiquette

If you are unsure of what office etiquette means, start with these simple tasks. Overall, just be respectful and considerate of your coworkers. You all share the same space, so why not make an effort to keep it clean and comfortable for everyone? With these office etiquette practices, you’ll be extremely pleasant to work with in the office.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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