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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Perhaps you’re thinking of ordering flowers, picking up chocolates, or browsing the card aisle for that special someone in your life. While it’s certainly fine to “share the love” with those you love, don’t forget the workplace. No, I don’t mean buying multiples of flowers, candy and cards…or flirting with coworkers! What I mean is this: think of ways you can “show a little love” in the workplace by showing those you spend the majority of your time with, that you care about them on a daily basis. It’s part of good office etiquette. Here are six ways you can do that:

Greet coworkers when you arrive. Research shows that the majority of coworkers want to be acknowledged. A quick greeting as you walk down the hallway shows you’re approachable and friendly and makes others feel valued and important.

Have a positive attitude. Attitude dictates behavior. No workplace is perfect and people aren’t perfect. So, try to see the “best” in others, no matter how different they are from you. Be the person everyone enjoys working with because you have a positive, can-do attitude.

Write notes of appreciation. Everyone wants and needs to feel appreciated. There are people in your office or department who go out of their way for you. Maybe they set up the conference room when you got stuck in traffic. Maybe they stepped in to help on a project when you were slammed and on deadline. Sure, you verbally thanked him/her. But why not really make them smile with a short, handwritten thank-you note on their desk the next morning. Each week, think of someone you need to thank with a real note. Don’t forget those who help to keep the building clean.

Hold doors. In the workplace, whoever gets to the door first (man or woman) should hold it for the others. Always watch for anyone with their hands full and get the door for him/her. If you’re walking with your boss, a few steps before you reach the door quicken your step and get the door.

Leave common areas clean. Your mother doesn’t come to work with you, so clean up your dishes in the communal kitchen. Wipe the counter. Leave it better than you found it.

Occasionally take in treats for the whole office. If you’re known for your homemade coffee cake, go with that. If not, pick up a couple dozen bagels and cream cheese. Everyone will appreciate your thoughtfulness, even if they don’t indulge.

Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to “show a little love” in the workplace. These tips will help elevate you as a respectful coworker who cares about others. Not only that, there’s a domino effect–what you do will help bump up the “love” and respect in your office, making it a more enjoyable place for everyone.


Rachel Wagner, Founder and  President of the business etiquette firm, Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol, is an expert in the field of  etiquette. As a business etiquette speaker, trainer and coach, Rachel helps people to be confident and comfortable in any business situation and reflect the brand and image of their company with excellence.

Rachel is frequently quoted or interviewed in national and local media outlets including Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, NBC Today, and American Express OPEN Forum. Rachel is the “etiquette expert” for Fox 23 Tulsa, and her popular and award-winning business etiquette newsletter, The Savvy Professional, is read by hundreds of subscribers.