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The practice of good business etiquette and civility in a Pandemic is essential at every level of an organization. And, even without a Pandemic, civility and good business etiquette are vital for respectful business interactions.

But, in today’s world, more than ever,  people are trying to make sense of the current ‘normal.’  Everyone’s lives have been affected in many ways. Anxiety is not uncommon. And, it’s easy to let incivility and disrespect overtake common-sense courtesy.

So, what are some ideas for taming tempers, alleviating discord, and bringing co-workers together as a unified team? Whether your team is back in the office or working remotely, these business etiquette tips show that civility and respect are part of your professional tool kit.

    1. Respect diversity and differences. In our diversified workplaces, realize that skin color, gender, and cultural differences just mean we all bring unique and distinct ideas and solutions to the table. And, if your coworker celebrates different holidays than you, wish them a happy holiday (Hanukkah, etc.)
    2. Avoid stress-inducing topics. Politics, unrest, and Covid-19 mandates are anxiety-inducing topics. Unless you can disagree respectfully, try to avoid these topics in the office or on Zoom. Instead, ask others to share one thing good about their day. For example, their potty-training toddler was dry 3 nights in a row. Or, someone paid it forward in the Starbucks drive-thru, or they enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.
    3. Borrow not from coworkers without their knowledge or permission. You already know not to eat someone’s food from the office fridge. But it’s also discourteous to ‘borrow’ their stapler, highlighter pen, or sticky note pad when they’re away from their desk.
    4. Arrive ‘on time’ for Zoom meetings. Good business etiquette means being timely for in-person and virtual meetings. And, if you’re going to be delayed, text the facilitator so they can decide whether to start without you or wait.
    5. Ask others “how they’re doing.” Check-in with coworkers and subordinates on a regular basis. Ask in person, send a text, pick up the phone, or write an email. People need to know that others care about them, especially during this unprecedented time. Or mail a greeting card to let a coworker you’re missing know you’re thinking of them. (Design and email free greeting cards at greetingsisland.com).business etiquette civility during pandemic
    6. Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded. Have Uber deliver a coffee drink to your Zoom meeting invitee. Water your remote coworker’s office plants on your rotating days in the office. Send a hand-written thank-you note to brighten someone’s day.

Everyone benefits from good business etiquette and civility, Pandemic or not. It’s part of a person’s ‘brand, reputation, and image.’ The ideas and strategies above are powerful, simple, and realistic. Make business etiquette and civility a top priority during the current Pandemic, and always.

What are some additional ways you can show civility and good business etiquette during this unprecedented time? Share in the comments section below.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker, and owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com.Rachel provides onsite and virtual training presentations on a variety of business and dining etiquette topics for corporate clients around the country. As a licensed etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets including The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more.