All workplaces and organizations are grounded on acceptable work etiquettes. These ideal office manners define the behaviors of the individuals in a working environment regardless of the situation. Each and every employee whether a regular employee or part of the management, is expected to manifest good social behavior in the office.
Workplace etiquettes can generate a great impact in the workplace. People in a certain company with poor etiquette are prone to conflicts and low work productivity. However, a workplace where individuals observe proper work etiquette is an avenue for professional growth and maturity.
General Principles of Workplace Etiquette
Generally, there are common acceptable workplace etiquettes that every working individual must regularly practice. One is to greet anyone you come across with upon first encounter. Inside the office, mobile phones must be kept silent or in a vibration mode so as not to distract other people who are working. This same manner is expected in a meeting or discussion. In a group discussion, when one member is talking or giving a speech, the rest of the participants must actively listen and should not interrupt the person. If the call or text message needs an urgent reply, the person can excuse himself from the meeting and attend to it outside.
Individuals generally want to work in an environment that is peaceful and free from noise distraction. Those in the higher management prefer this kind of atmosphere and they expect the same behavior from their members or colleagues. A peaceful work environment allows everyone to concentrate on their tasks and generate more work.
Ideal Workplace Manners and Decorum
What are ways to conduct oneself courteously in the workplace? There are a lot of simple courtesy acts and proper decorum that employees may follow.
When in a conversation with a fellow colleague or even just with their presence, never chew and pop bubble gum. You would not want to do the same thing to the customers. Always observe proper hygiene when coming to work by taking a regular shower and using deodorant. When coughing or sneezing, do so privately and use a hanky or tissue. Do not forget to say “Excuse me”.
The essence of proper etiquette is showing respect and courtesy to everyone at all times. So, before entering an office, always knock as a sign of respect for other people’s workspace. Make it a habit to use courtesy words such as “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re welcome”. When conversing, speak clearly but refrain from shouting. Laughing boisterously is a turn off so keep it low.
Never engage in gossip about another person’s private life. Refrain from being an office know-it-all. You will only lose the respect of others. In giving criticism, be sincere and constructive instead of de-motivating. Refrain from getting into an argument with your boss or colleague.
Always observe cleanliness in your premises and this includes keeping your work desk tidy all the time. When there are newcomers or new employees, make them feel comfortable and welcomed instead of acting like a busy-body. Refrain from giving off remarks about an individual’s attire or appearance.
Rules Governing Workplace Etiquette
Most companies set rules or policies to carry out these workplace etiquettes to all employees. A general rule is to set an example in observing proper office manners and behaviors. Although this aptly applies to management and the employer, even the employees can become good examples to their colleagues.
The governing body that is responsible for generating workplace etiquettes and changing them must properly disseminate these rules to everyone for implementation. This can be done through a memo posted on the bulletin or through a meeting. Some do it through email. Always be open to feedback and criticism about the rules and be willing to make adjustments if there is any.
During the implementation, there may be employees who will react negatively to it and might create conflict situations. Restriction in the dress code is a good example. Managers and supervisors must address this immediately by explaining to the members the importance and advantages of these etiquettes to everyone and the company.
If every individual is able to adhere to the ideal office etiquettes, the workplace will be an ideal place to work where respect and courtesy govern.