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Ten years ago, one of my most requested seminars was Workplace Etiquette and Office Professionalism. Then, only a few calls trickled in for that session until recently again. Just this month, I’ve had two requests for this session.

Why is that?

First, clearly, we live in a world of upheaval, incivility and disrespect.

Secondly, I believe from comments that I’m hearing from some of my clients, that employees have become lax since the Pandemic when most everyone worked from home. Everyone just set their own rules around the house and didn’t have to interact in person with the boss or coworkers.

Now, fast forward to 2024. A majority of employees are back in the office or work a hybrid schedule (some days in the office, some remotely). Did we forget how to get along at the office? Did we forget some common courtesies that help show respect and civility? Or are we exhibiting habits that create offense and frustration.

In response to what some of my clients are sharing with me, I’ve put together some workplace etiquette tips and courtesies that will help everyone get along well and work more effectively and respectfully back in the office. Everyone already knows these, so just consider this as quick business etiquette, office professionalism reminders.

6  Of My Favorite Workplace Etiquette Tips 

1. Greet your coworkers.workplace etiquette is important

When you arrive and walk down the hall, look people in the eye and say hello or good morning. It doesn’t mean you have to get into a long conversation. Just acknowledge the person with a greeting. Research indicates that most people truly appreciate this gesture. And it makes you look approachable and friendly.

2. Keep hallway conversations to a minimum and use a softer voice.

Loud hallway conversations are a distraction, especially for those working in cubicles, trying to get their work done or who might be on a phone call. And if you need to continue a spontaneous conversation, find an empty conference room.

3. Pick up after yourself in the office kitchen.

Maybe when working from home you left dirty dishes in the sink or didn’t wipe the counter. But, at the office, it’s good manners           to clean up after yourself, put your dishes in the dishwasher, and leave the common eating area tidier than you found it.

4. Be the person who praises others in public but shares criticism in private.

Praise someone’s good work on a project at an in-person team meeting, but don’t embarrass someone in public with constructive criticism or send criticism via email or text. Instead, chat face to face in the office with a closed door.

5. Exhibit professional responsibility when working from home.

If working from home occasionally, it’s understood that you sometimes need to step away from your desk. However, keep your            focus on normal work-related responsibilities as if you were in the office. And exhibit integrity by being readily available for                    Teams calls and other calls during your normal work hours.

6. Respect differences.

In a world of divisiveness, we can still all work together harmoniously. We can respect one another even though we may have                differences of opinion about politics, lifestyles, or religions.

It’s never too late to brush up on some workplace etiquette tips that enhance office professionalism. By doing so, the whole office benefits by enjoying an environment of greater civility, courtesy, and working together effectively and respectfully.

You may also like to read: 7 Old-fashion Etiquette Rules to Still Use Today.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer, and speaker. She is the owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. 
Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training on business and dining etiquette topics. She has corporate clients from many industries around the country. As an etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets. These include The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more. She is also credentialed as a Virtual Event Professional and Zoom Producer.

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