5 Workplace Etiquette You Should Know
How you present yourself to others in the workplace matters, regardless if you are just starting your ﬁrst internship or have many years of professional experience already. Setting a professional tone is crucial if you want to build new relationships and ensure that you have a positive and successful experience in your workplace.
1. Make a great first impression.
It is crucial that you ensure to present yourself as a professional as people often form impressions about others within seconds of meeting them. Be mindful of your body language and how others may perceive it, as simple as standing straight, maintaining eye contact, and smiling. Make sure you know the workplace dress code and oﬃce policies ahead of time. Arrive on-time and be prepared for important meetings.
2. Avoid gossiping.
Don’t make judgments on people’s value and importance in the workplace or speak negatively about your coworkers. How you treat people says a lot more about you than them, so even if you ﬁnd yourself frustrated over a certain situation, refrain from doing so. Be thoughtful about how you interact with your supervisor, peers, and even subordinates.
3. Communicate with others.
Communication is an important part of workplace etiquette. Often, it is more about how you say it than what you actually say that counts so be mindful of how you communicate with your colleagues on a regular basis and meetings. Your email correspondence inside and outside of your workplace should be written clearly and free of spelling errors. Remember, email is a permanent record of any conversation so never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to say to someone’s face.
4. Understand your work environment.
Values, policies, and procedures are different for every workplace. A larger organization with a structured human resource division may have access to an HR Manager or in-house trainings while in a smaller workplace setting, some of that knowledge may come from observing others and asking questions from your colleagues.
If you take a job or internship in another country, research the proper etiquette, culture and customs for both that country and the organization you plan to work for to help you understand what’s appropriate and what’s not, and how to best navigate the workplace while maintaining your professionalism.
5. Be personable yet professional.
Be cautious when it comes to sharing about yourself; some colleagues may be more open than others. Similarly, you may want to limit personal calls, emails, and other non-work-related tasks to after work hours. Within your workspace, it’s okay to add personal touches but remember that your colleagues will see the space and consider it a reﬂection of your professional self. Lastly, getting to you know colleagues is a good thing but always be respectful of others’ space.