To ensure a happy and productive environment, every employee should act as role model by demonstrating good manners in the office. Office etiquette or office manners are about conducting yourself respectfully and courteously in the office or workplace. We should always act with honesty and dignity at all times. Below are some reminders of how we should act at the office or workplace.
- Be respectful. Treat your co-workers, the cleaners, maintenance people with respect and courtesy. Show appreciation for the slightest courtesies extended to you. Do not forget to greet them or say “please”, “thank you” and “you are welcome” as part of your everyday courtesy. Your elders are generally more mature in judgement and life’s experiences and they deserve your respect even in the workplace. Avoid shouting or screaming at someone you are calling from a far. Compassion and empathy will serve you much better to earn respect. Stay calm and do not get emotional or angry. Do not hover around while waiting for your colleague to get off the phone or to cut off his conversation with someone else. You can leave down a note or a message for them to call you or you may come back later.
- Respect your co-worker’s property and the office property. Never take or use things which are not yours, do not take things from others without asking, respect your co-worker’s belongings. Use the office properties with outmost care. If you do not know how to use a particular machine, ask help from others or read the manual. The office equipment and office supplies are purchased for office use so do not use it for personal benefits.
- Keep cleanliness at the office areas, clean up your own mess. Practice good manners and office etiquette at every opportunity, even in the toilet. Clean as you go out of the toilet. If we do not clean up our mess, we will collectively add to the mess and attract cockroaches or mice. Leave the places tidy and hygienic for those using the facilities after you.
- Apologize when you are wrong. You should take responsibilities of your mistakes, apologize and correct it. Learn to apologize when you are clearly wrong, or if in doubt, apologize anyway; it is not hard to do. You should never blame someone else if it is your mistake and learn to accept if you have committed mistakes and be sure it is corrected.
- Show respect for each other’s workplace. Knock before entering. Do not hold meetings in your cubicle and distract those sitting nearby, you may use a private office or a meeting area if there are more than two people for the discussion. If there are no cubicle walls, pretend there are walls and do not barge on their space. At the very least, do not sneak up behind. Announce yourself as you approach and knock on the edge of their desk when you arrive.
- Share your credit. You must also acknowledge your colleagues’ performance or contribution because not doing so will only ruin your reputation. It is a team performance which means all the team members have contributed, so why take all the credit? You should be a good team member.
- Hold back on perfume. When it comes to perfume, there are a lot of people who over do it without realizing that others could be sensitive to that scent. This can be very much disturbing to your workmates because your strong perfume can cause headaches for others or worse effect to those people who are allergic to it. If you cannot control over doing it, then do not wear it at all. Do not make the workplace inconvenient for your workmates. Just make sure you come to work neat and tidy so be sure to shower regularly.
- Be on time. Being punctual says a lot about your personal values. If you are always late, you are basically giving a silent message that you do not care. Especially on meetings, avoid being late, it is rude to let others wait for you and it is even worse if you do not come to meetings at all, so be conscious about the time. Be mindful of the time.
- Do not come to work if you are too sick. If you are contagious, you should stay at home. But if you only have sniffles, you should be at the office. Do not cough or sneeze in anyone’s direction, use your handkerchief or tissue, if possible, to contain the germs and do not forget to say “Excuse me”. Do not blow your nose on your desk unless you did not have any choice.
- Do not spread gossip. Do not be the source of gossip in the office, whether it is about you or someone else. It distracts people and can create unprofessional environment. You can always find time to chitchat after work.
- Avoid social network sites at work. While social network sites had been very useful for communication and sharing of information, it can also prove a great distraction to employees who may show more interest in what their friends are posting than their work. Doing Facebook and other social network sites not related to work decrease productivity at work.
- Be responsive to your clients. Deal with your clients properly. Greet them and acknowledge their presence. Always wear a smile whenever you are dealing with them. Listen to your clients sincerely and be eager to address their concern.
Remember the golden rule, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. If you want to be respected, then respect everyone. Always be mindful on how you deal with others in your office or workplace. Be respectful, be courteous and be reminded all the time of proper office etiquette to create a healthy and professional environment to be productive.
By: PAMELA L. ASTUDILLO
Administrative Assistant III