8 Essential Workplace Etiquette Rules to Follow
“Etiquette” has a stuffy feel, but it simply means the rules and norms you should follow to make the people around you feel comfortable. And who wouldn’t want that?
While some workplace etiquette is intuitive (like don’t steal anyone’s lunch from the office fridge), some is not. Here are eight less-obvious rules every professional should abide by.
1. Make coffee
If you’re first in the office in the morning, and you drink coffee, don’t wait for someone else to start the pot. Do it yourself. Not only is it quick and easy, but you’ll win lots of points with your coworkers.
And whenever you finish off the coffee, go ahead and start a pot as well.
2. Try to keep fragrances to a minimum
That involves all smells. Try not to wear aggressively fragrant perfume or cologne. When your trash can is getting full, empty it. If you want to eat food that’s on the smellier side—like tuna or hardboiled eggs—take it outside.
3. But don’t judge
Your coworkers might not be as considerate as you. However, just because you left the odorous foods at home doesn’t mean you can comment on their eating choices.
Remember, the ultimate goal of etiquette is putting everyone at ease. Wrinkling up your nose in disgust when Sean reheats his fish from last night definitely won’t make him feel relaxed.
4. Be courteous when using social media
These days, it’s tricky to know what’s appropriate for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
When in doubt, ask yourself, “Would my colleagues be comfortable knowing I posted this?” That means you can upload a picture of your team at the Halloween lunch—but if a group of you go out that night for some celebratory cocktails, you shouldn’t post a shot. After all, anyone who didn’t go might feel left out.
5. Use “Reply All” sparingly
There’s no easier way to make office enemies than to overuse “Reply All.” Before you hit that button, think, “How many people on this thread need to see my response?”
If the answer is “less than half,” use “Reply” instead.
6. Don’t be late
Try to be on time for meetings and calls. Nothing says, “I think I’m more important than you” like showing up 15 minutes late to a conference call or discussion.
Of course, sometimes punctuality is impossible. Show your coworkers respect by letting them know as soon as possible that you’re running behind.
7. Stay at home when sick
This rule is a tough one. If your employer only gives you a set number of sick days per year, it’s tempting to “save” them and try to work through your sickness. However, your coworkers will definitely resent you when they catch your bug. So stay at home when you’ve got a contagious illness—you’ll appreciate it when they do the same.
8. Avoid multi-tasking
In meetings, close your laptop. It’s rude and distracting to work while others are trying to speak. If you need to be there for only a portion of the meeting, stay for that discussion and then leave.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the seventh consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is now the 14th largest IT staffing firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 26 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.