written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 5/20/2011
Etiquette office manners are not always present in most people. Keeping a professional atmosphere in the workplace is a very important part of keeping the company admirable and respectable in the eyes of both its customers and its employees.
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Behaving in the workplace with courteousness and respect is an essential part of growing professionally and becoming a more mature person in the corporate world. To ensure proper etiquette, office manners must be observed at all times. There are a lot of ways to observe proper etiquette in the workplace and most of these conducts were already introduced to us while we were still young. To serve as a refresher, here are 10 tips for proper office etiquette.
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1. Office Attire
Employees should wear their properly pressed office uniforms during office hours because it is the most visible representation that you work for the company. Some companies do not have strict uniform policy, but instead observe a casual business dress code to give enough freedom and comfort to their employees while in the workplace. Even then, employees are still expected to present a respectable and professional image. However, do keep in mind that not all casual attire fits in the office setting.
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2. First Impressions Last
If you are new in the company, or if someone new is introduced to you, always maintain proper manners. Do not assume that you can kid around with other people in the workplace - especially if you are not acquainted with them. Always introduce yourself properly to new people you meet, whether they are visitors, clients or also work for your company.
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3. Always Say Excuse Me, Please, Thank You and I'm Sorry
These are just simple phrases, first taught to us by our parents to be good girls and good boys, which we should have mastered by this time.
Always say "excuse me" when you cough, when you sneeze, and when you call someone's attention in between their work or conversation.
Always say "please" when asking someone a favor. Without this, you will sound like you are demanding or giving command.
When people do things for you, whether it is a superior or a subordinate, you should always say, "Thank you." This will show your co-workers that you appreciate them and what they do for you and for the company.
Saying "I'm sorry" is such a powerful way of letting others know that you didn't mean what just happened, thus making the situation less disturbing or less disappointing. Saying "I'm sorry" is just an initial step because it should be followed with what you should do to make it up.
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4. Be Clean
One way to show professionalism toward your co-workers is to come to work smelling and looking nice. Though there is a saying, "beauty comes from the inside and not from the outside," physical image still counts in the workplace. Even customers inquiring about your company's products won't be interested with your approach if you look like you just jumped out of your bed and wore your worn uniform yesterday.
Cleanliness applies not only to the employee's personal grooming, but also on how clean and organized things in their work area.
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Workplace Etiquette: Office Manners Uncovered
On page one, we covered the first four tips for workplace etiquette. Office manners are continued here, on page two.
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5. Try Not to Interrupt
During meetings or even in casual conversation, try not to interrupt other people who are speaking to show them respect. Listen and wait for them to finish before you raise your point. Even in situations where the conversation is casual, it is still in the workplace so proper conversation manners should still be observed.
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If you are entering a room or a cubicle of a co-worker, it will be nice if you knock first before initiating a conversation. This shows that you respect their work space and privacy. Also, always remember that borrowing should always come with permission from the owner -for everything from small things like a stapler or markers, to big things like viewing or copying files.
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7. Don't Be Loud
The workplace is a shared space, so any kind of noise can be a distraction for a lot of people. Do not raise your voice to get someone's attention. Being loud is one of the most annoying characteristics of people in the workplace, and you would definitely not want to be that guy who everybody secretly hates in the office.
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8. Workplace Conversation
Being approachable in the workplace is a good way to build camaraderie, but don't spend this time chatting about inappropriate topics such as your vacation last week or your embarrassing moments. Also, limit chatting time with your co-workers because they may have something more important to do. You can always save these topics until breaktime.
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9. Don't Be Late
For a lot of reasons, being late for work should be avoided. Being frequently late for work is a mark of an unprofessional attitude and it should not be encouraged or tolerated in a professional environment. Instead, being on time for work or a business meetings is one way of showing your boss that you are interested and serious about your job.
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10. Mind Your Gestures
As mentioned earlier, employees are expected to behave as professionals. In any kind of job, supervisors and employees often experience back pain, tiredness and even sleepiness which lead them to stretch, shake their hands or lay their head down on their desk. Though these acts are not prohibited, employees should be conscious that they should not overdo these stress-relieving gestures.
You can shake your hands or stretch a little without disturbing others. It is best if you go to the comfort room and do it there. When you yawn, make sure to cover your mouth and as much as possible don't make the yawning sound. When so sleepy, you can go wash your face or you can rest your head down for 3 minutes to rest your eyes, but don't do this in front of a client.
Breaktime is a perfect time to relax, but never place your feet on top of your desk because that is incredibly bad manners.
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These tips for workplace etiquette - office manners - are very simple to follow and remember. The problem comes when employees are not aware of what they are doing. That's why most companies prepare workshops for team building, with self-awareness activities, in order to build better and more productive employees.