What are workplace manners?
Workplace manners are the customary code of behavior that you are expected to observe in the workplace. The rules of etiquette define what manners are appropriate and what conduct you should try to avoid. When you use good manners in the workplace, you create an environment of respect. Coworkers are more likely to become engaged and productive in an environment where colleagues are polite, thoughtful, and kind.
1. Offer a polite greeting
Say “hello”, “good morning” or “good afternoon, smile and make eye contact when you see coworkers or customers. Offer a handshake and introduce yourself when you see someone new. Greeting others in the workplace is a type of manner that can help you present a friendly demeanor that makes colleagues and customers feel more comfortable around you.
2. Make conversation
During your workday, you should have plenty of opportunities for conversation with coworkers and customers. Start conversations with those you know from your office, gathering thoughts and opinions on recent happenings or company accomplishments.
3. Be mindful of others
Stay mindful of those around you, particularly as you’re moving around the office. Check over your shoulder when you pass through a door and hold it open if someone is behind you. Hold the elevator door for others if they’re walking toward the elevator. Practicing mindfulness while working around others demonstrates your teamwork and collaboration abilities.
4. Silence your phone
Notifications from phones can be a distraction, especially when working around multiple colleagues or with clients. Silence your cell phone in the office so you don’t disturb others with these sounds. Keeping your phone silent is especially important in office manners, but your coworkers will appreciate the effort if you’re close to them.
5. Give your undivided attention
Give your full attention to others during conversations. If you accidentally speak over someone else, apologize for the error. Leave your phone at your desk when attending meetings and keep it out of your hand during one-on-one conversations. Offering your full attention shows you’re interested in the discussion and want to hear the speaker’s opinions.
6. Keep the workplace clean
The workplace is a shared environment that everyone should contribute to keeping clean. When you use a common tool or item, make sure to put it back in its designated area so others can locate it. A clean workplace can increase motivation and productivity within teams.
7. Arrive on time
Timeliness is an essential part of workplace etiquette. Show you respect and value others’ time and priorities by arriving promptly for meetings, completing tasks before deadlines, and arriving to work a few minutes before you’re scheduled.
8. Eat-in the break room or outside the workplace
Eating at your desk can cause distracting aromas for your coworkers. Try to eat your lunch in designated locations, such as a break room or cafeteria. When possible, eating your lunch outside the workplace is often an ideal choice. Aside from limiting distractions for your team members, eating your lunch away from your desk or workspace can help you refocus when you return to work.
9. Dress appropriately
Modest attire is typically the best choice in the workplace. Even in a casual environment, it’s best to select simple and comfortable clothing. Jewelry that jingles or a strong perfume may distract coworkers from their duties. If you’re meeting with a client, try to dress for the occasion by wearing business casual or professional clothing. You may also choose to wear attire according to their business’s standards. For example, if your client works for a financial firm, you should probably dress in business professional clothing.
10. Meet in designated spaces
If you’re meeting with two or more people, schedule a meeting room or use a private office for your discussion. Hosting meetings in your workspace may create noise that could distract your team members to keep good office manners. Close the door during your meetings to reduce sounds. Use low voices for meetings and one-on-one office conversations so those around you can still focus easily.
11. Consider your body language
Your body language can send different messages during conversations. When speaking with others, make eye contact and nod when applicable to show you’re paying attention. Smiling can show your enthusiasm for the topic. Keep your arms at your sides for a neutral pose, or put your hands on your hips to demonstrate confidence. When sitting or standing, ensure your back is straight and your shoulders are back to show you are alert.