Modern Workplace Etiquette
By: Mariah Rogers
Jul 28, 2020 • 2 min read

Modern Workplace Etiquette

Having a solid set of professional skills can land you a job, but what happens after you are hired? How do you create a friendly work environment? While your professional skills get the job done, professional etiquette creates a favorable image in the heart of your colleagues and clients you work for. It creates a friendly atmosphere in the workplace. Let’s examine some professional etiquette that is needed in the workplace.

workplace etiquette

 The first impression matters

Your colleagues and most of the people you will interact with will form an impression about you within the first few minutes of meeting you. Therefore, you must be prepared to impress them. There are a few things you can do to make a good impression.



Shake hands

When meeting someone at your work, give then a firm handshake. The grip should not be too strong to cause pain, of course, but just a firm grip is a show or respect and confidence.

Maintain eye contact

While shaking hands, keep eye contact, and maintain it throughout the conversation. Maintaining eye contact sends an idea of you being trustworthy. Do not hold eye contact for too long at a stretch, though, or you will be sending the wrong message to the person you are meeting.

Keep conversations productive

Be focused on keeping conversations productive. People will remember you by what they discussed with you at the first meeting. You don’t want their memory of you to be a terrible unproductive conversation. 


Remember names

Exchanging names is one of the first things you will have to do when you meet someone. However, ensure you give you full name and not a nick. You should memorize names too. People get ticked off when you keep forgetting their names, and it doesn’t show that you think they matter. Also, learn how to pronounce names correctly. You can ask the person over again to be sure you got the pronunciation right. It is a sign of respect and interest.



Avoid gossip

Whether you are new in an organization or you’ve been there for years, having discussions about other people is not professional. Although a little workplace gossip is normal and almost inevitable, it should not be made the order of the day. The workplace is meant for professional work and should be kept at such. It is not a good habit to make yourself a judge of other people’s behavior. Shrugging people off when they want to talk to you is not a good trait either. Be attentive to people, but be sure you keep conversations at work as professional as possible. 

workplace etiquette



Keep the communication line up

It’s not fun giving attention to your professional skill only. Being a good employee is not only about your ability to get things done. While you pay attention to developing your professional skills, ensure you maintain excellent relational skills as well.



Be flexible with words

All employees do not have the same temperament, they all ain’t going through the same thing at a time. While you are trying to communicate with your colleagues, try to observe the mood of each person. For instance, pulling a funny stunt when an employee just received a negative comment from the manager is not likely to end up well. So don’t just strive to establish communication with your colleagues, try to understand what they want at the moment. Observing their mood and treating them accordingly shows respect, and in turn, builds their trust in you.



Know when you are called

Still talking about communication, when you observe two or more colleagues talking, do not intrude if you are not called or beckoned upon. You can simply pass by and wave at them- if they need you to contribute to their conversation, they will call you. Knowing the right time to speak tells your colleague and manager that you are professional. Also, while in a meeting, know when it’s right for you to speak. You may have an idea of contribution towards the ongoing conversation. Stay calm until you feel it’s right to speak. Your words are respected more when spoken at the right time.

workplace etiquette



Have a professional dress code

If your workplace has a dress code for its employees, stick to it. However, even if there is no specific rule regarding dressing, still ensure that you maintain a professional dress code daily. 



Be accessible

Don’t always keep the door to your office locked. This sends the impression that you want to be left alone. To cultivate an ethical workplace culture, take time to go talk to your colleagues. You should also learn to return calls when you miss them. Do not overlook this simple act, especially if it’s from one another employee. Reply to emails, texts, and call back if you miss a call.



Keep to a schedule

Life as an employer or business owner is a little challenging. You have meetings to attend and appointments to keep. Notwithstanding your schedule, you should keep each appointment and be punctual. Lateness to meetings, either with your employees or a business partner, is disrespectful, and it’s an easy way to lose your credibility. In the event of having an unexpected incident, ensure you communicate with the other party that you wouldn’t be available or will be late. Beyond being punctual, you should also keep a habit of getting to work early. Showing up first to start the day is an effective way to get your employees, colleagues, and subordinates ready for the business of the day.



Be serious with emails

Emails have become part of business, and you must take note of how you send and receive them. While sending an email, take the time to proofread before sending it. You should check spelling and grammatical errors and ensure that your message is clearly crafted. Your email represents you to the recipient, therefore take it seriously. An email filled with errors or without clarity will look unprofessional. You can make use of free grammar tools online to keep your email grammatically correct.


Build friendships 

Developing proper workplace etiquette will make it easier for your colleagues to accept you and help you make friends. What could be more comforting than working with your friends? If you keep pay attention to these things, it will do your work life a whole lot of good. 

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