Office etiquette, manners, and courtesy are simple and basic yet many so-called career-oriented people repeatedly take it for granted, unconsciously or otherwise. What they do not realize is that these three create an impression and makes a difference in human relationships especially in an office setting.
The following article explains not only their significance but also the tactics of how to jumpstart them. Knowing these will certainly help you succeed in your career.
Definition of Etiquette, Manners, and Courtesy
What is the difference between manners and etiquette and courtesy? Even though they’re related, these three concepts are somewhat different. Here’s how most dictionaries define them.
- Manners or social comportment are the ways of behaving with reference to polite standards.
- Etiquette are conventional rules as to social behavior. They are properties of conduct as established in any class or community.
- Courtesy is showing politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others.
What Studies Say About Manners and Courtesy
Though good manners and courtesy in the workplace are not technical matters, studies on recruitment and career development point out the need to practice it on a regular basis. One particular study on office workers revealed the following reasons why they get so irritated:
- Use their cell phones during meetings.
- Leave their messes in their tables or the kitchen area.
- Never say, “Good Morning.”
Customers may not express their complaints about discourteous professionals who constantly deal with them, yet many would stay away from those who offended them in any way.
Relearning the Basics of Courtesy
Whether you’re the boss or not, follow these tips about professional courtesy in the workplace:
- Introduce yourself.
- Introduce other people.
- Smile as you listen to other people speaking.
- Look at people when you are speaking.
- Say “Hello”, “Goodbye”, “Please”, and “Thank you”
- Be helpful and open doors.
- Compliment others.
- Write notes that say “Thank you.”
- Respect other people’s time.
Why Is Office Etiquette Important?
Office etiquette is important because it promotes harmonious co-working space. It lessens stress and conflict between employees. Without it, employees would show far too much impatience and disrespect for one another. Below are examples of the bad and the common office etiquette rules that every employee should follow.
Bad Office Etiquette Examples to Avoid
- Gross behavior
- Bad language
- Never buying a round
- Not giving credit
- Boasting about your salary
- Talking over people
9 Common Office Etiquette Rules for Employees
- Respect other people’s need to work.
- Be aware of smells.
- Keep your noise and distractions to a minimum.
- Always be tidy.
- Respect other people’s personal and work space.
- Don’t come to work if you’re sick.
- Always be considerate.
- Always be tolerant.
- Think like and as a team
How to Speak and Look as a Professional Worker
Smiling from time to time and maintain good eye contact will make good perceptions of you. In addition, your appearance will help create an impression of you. Business casual is the most preferred. In addition, you should:
- Be clean and neat as always.
- Wear a cologne with a scent that is not too strong.
- Avoid chewing gum in front of your boss or in public.
Maintain courtesy when speaking with co-workers or your boss. Here are some tips:
- Avoid sarcastic and foul language.
- Be wary of the places where you hold conversations.
- If you will use acronyms and jargon, be sure to explain to them so everyone understands it.
- Avoid expressions such as, “I guess”, “I hope”, “maybe”, and “probably” that make you appear unsure of yourself.
Office Etiquette for Meetings and the Use of Equipment
- Prepare everything you need for the meeting.
- Turn off cell phones before you start the meeting.
- Make a backup plan in case the equipment does not work.
- Avoid having sidebar conversations.
- Pay attention to the speaker.
- Cell phones should not be used in public places. Do not take or make calls if you are performing your job or attending a meeting. Pagers or beepers should be put on vibrate mode.
- When opening or sending an e-mail message, keep your message short. Always use the subject line, and check for any misspellings or grammatical errors.
- When answering the phone, always wear a smile on your face but don’t put something in your mouth. Speakerphones should not be used except when needed for the meeting.
- Make sure to double check and be specific with the details when you are scheduling an appointment with an important person. Verify all your appointments before the actual schedule.
- When using the fax machine to send a document to a third party, do not send your client’s confidential info.
If there’s courtesy, manners, and office etiquette rules to follow within the workplace, employees will earn and give respect to one another. The result? An overflowing satisfaction and harmony that will make you feel as if you’re working at home with your second family.
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