Workplace Etiquette

10 Workplace Etiquette Dos and Don’ts to Must Follow

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Behaving appropriately at the workplace is essential to gain the respect of colleagues and maintain decorum. Professionals need to carry themselves in a socially acceptable manner that suits a corporate workplace and leaves a good impression on both fellow workers and the clients. 

Workplace etiquette refers to a set of rules which must be adhered to at the workplace. These rules are related to interactions with co-workers, superiors, and clients, and general conduct at the workplace. 

Desirable behavior and conduct must be imbibed and implemented when making up workplace etiquette. Here are some of the major dos and don’ts of workplace etiquette

Workplace Etiquettes

Don’t Bring Emotions to The Office

Your personal life has nothing to do with your professional life. To this end, you cannot let your emotions affect your work. Discussing your emotional issues with co-workers during office hours is not in sync with professional etiquette. The environment in a workplace must be strictly professional with no place for personal emotions.

If your emotional issues hamper your work by not allowing you to focus, it is better to seek time off to overcome those issues. Seek professional help if necessary. If anyone at the workplace is giving you emotional trouble, reach out to the HR department or supervisor. 

Don’t Have Personal Conversations at Your Desk

Personal and private phone conversations with spouses, parents, friends and other people featuring in your personal life while sitting at your desk is a major violation of the rules of corporate etiquette. Having private conversations at your desk distracts your colleagues and conveys a bad impression of your professional image. 

This is not to say that you cannot attend to personal phone calls at the workplace. The best course of action is to step out of the office for personal calls or even use the conference room if it is not being used at that time. The key is to be as discreet as possible about your personal life.

Don’t Be Nervous While Remaining Within Your Boundaries

Getting nervous at the workplace harms your professional image because no one takes you seriously or wants to know your opinions. Thus, it is essential to maintain confidentiality at all times. There should be no hesitation in voicing your opinions on various matters. Being vocal has become an important requirement in corporate offices.

However, workplace etiquette requires you to avoid going overboard in voicing your opinions. You need to be respectful and should not adopt a ranting attitude. Arrogance and weak appreciation of boundaries tend to harm your professional image.

Don’t Gossip About Your Co-Workers or Boss

Gossiping about your co-workers or boss is against Corporate Etiquette. If a perception is created in the office that you are the gossiping kind, your professional image is harmed because you are not seen as someone who can be trusted. Gossiping also adversely affects your team player image, which is detrimental to your professional development.

Thus, regardless of the sensational nature of the topic, avoid gossiping about anyone in the company. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Raise Questions

Never hesitate to ask questions. Do not bother whether the question is trivial or not. Whenever in doubt about anything, ask questions. Raising queries enables you to clarify your doubts, preventing you from committing errors in your work. Thus, there is no need to stop asking questions to appear confident.

Network with People Outside Your Cubicle

Office etiquette does not mean you keep to yourself and avoid your colleagues. It is necessary to build a nice rapport with your co-workers. This enables you to learn from their experiences and provides you with a set of people willing to help you wherever needed.

Ways of networking with your co-workers include sharing lunch or having coffee together, attending company functions, and appreciating the good work done by any fellow co-worker.

Jump at The Chance to Complete New Work

Accept any new kind of task that your boss or co-workers ask you to take up. The very fact that you are being asked to complete a task that you have not done in the past shows the confidence of your boss or co-workers in your abilities. Declining such an opportunity gives the impression that you are low on confidence and unwilling to come out of your comfort zone. 

Moreover, a new task enables you to improve your skill sets and gain useful experience. Thus, accepting new tasks is both a rule of workplace etiquette and an opportunity for professional development.

Be Helpful Towards a Co-Worker

You should help any co-worker if they solicit your labor to complete a task. Naturally, you should ensure that you have extra time to help the colleague so that your work is not adversely affected. 

Helping co-workers help you exhibit your knowledge and expertise and creates goodwill for you among the staff, which is beneficial when you need help yourself.

Lean Towards Flexibility

You might need to work extra hours after office hours or even start working early in the morning due to multiple reasons such as tight deadlines, complex projects, and more. You may also be asked to perform tasks beyond the purview of your work contract or work on holidays or weekends to complete the task that someone else has failed to complete. 

Showing your ability and willingness to accept such extra work without bickering creates an impression that you are bothered about the company’s success. This helps you in career advancement.

You may also be interested in Performance Appraisals Guide for Employee and HR – A Definitive Guide

Dress Properly at Work

Proper attire also constitutes an important part of workplace etiquette. Never come to the office attired in casual weekend clothing such as ripped jeans, crop tops, printed tees, flip flops, etc. The clothes should also not be rumpled, giving you an untidy appearance.


Maintaining workplace etiquette goes a long way in ensuring that you command the respect of your co-workers and superiors and that your professional image remains unblemished.


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