If you’re new to the office environment or just looking to brush up on your etiquette after a few years of working from home, there are many basic office etiquette rules that will ensure your co-workers respect you and your bosses appreciate you. How can you ensure that you are a great part of your office and not the one cooking fish in the microwave?
7 Simple Office Etiquette Tips
- If you take personal calls, always close the door to your office. If you are in a more open area of the office, try to keep personal calls as short as possible and walk to an area where you won’t bother others while you chat. Working in an open office? Your best bet will probably be bringing along a headset or pair of headphones to avoid being distracted by other workers talking on the phone.
- Keep your personal phone and computer on silent, vibrate or muted to avoid distracting yourself or those around you.
- When you are in a meeting or conference, always give your complete attention to whoever is speaking. If you need to check an email, respond to a message or quickly check something on your computer, keep it as quick as possible. When you are distracted, remember that you are often creating a distraction for everyone else!
- One of the trickiest parts of office etiquette is what to do at lunchtime. If you eat at your desk, try to avoid foods that are noisy to eat, that will splatter and that will leave behind an odor (fish, red onion, etc.). If there is a dedicated area of your office where you can eat your lunch, try to practice eating there instead of at your desk (even if it means bringing your tablet with you).
- If you are under the weather or concerned that you are getting sick, stay home! The best office etiquette practice is avoiding getting anyone around you sick.
- Did you get an email that was sent to multiple recipients? Think before you hit “reply all!” Does everyone need to take time to read your response? Does everyone receiving the email need to know about what you’re sharing? Also, pay attention to your tone. When you use email or chat applications to communicate in your office, it’s easy to miscommunicate and come across harsher than you intend. Adding an “I really appreciate your help!” or “Thank you!” at the end of your email can make it clear to the recipient you intend your message to be received positively.
- Always let your coworkers or boss know if you are running late. Things happen, and it’s impossible to always be on time. However, give at least a two-minute warning for every one minute you’ll be late if you know that you will be late. For example, if you know that you will be ten minutes late to a meeting, let the meeting attendees know 20 minutes beforehand so that you can reschedule and so that you respect the time of the other parties involved.
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