For many businesses, there’s been a successful push to embrace a far more casual and relaxed workplace culture. While this modern way of working has its merits, you can’t afford to begin relaxing your standards when it comes to your work etiquette.
Breaking the globally established rules for business etiquette can have dire consequences for your company and professional career prospects. For most people, maintaining workplace etiquette is extremely important, but there might be a few things you’ve accidentally overlooked, even if you think you’re normally on point.
We’ve compiled our essential list of business etiquette basics to help ensure you’re going about your working day the right way. But, if you’d like to learn more you can also take a look at our other articles by heading over to the Human Resources page.
What is workplace etiquette and why is it so important?
You aren’t generally told what good business etiquette is, and many people will instead transfer over rules they’ve learned socially or from their parents. Good workplace etiquette is more important than most people think and it can really make you stand out among your colleagues.
But, more important than standing out is the fact that good etiquette will help you to form healthy working relationships with colleagues and business associates alike. It’s with this kind of positive attitude to work etiquette that you’ll see your career prospects open up now and long into the future.
How can you improve your work etiquette?
Dress appropriately and professionally
It’s true that first impressions can really last, so making sure you dress appropriately for a work setting is vital. If you dress too casually then you could affect the reputation of your company which will probably impact you negatively too. Save your sandals and shorts for dress down days and remember that putting some effort into your appearance can go a long way in the eyes of those around you.
Make punctuality your priority
There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re having your time wasted because someone else can’t be punctual. This frustration is magnified a million times over in a professional setting and can leave your reputation badly tarnished. Missing deadlines, arriving to work late, taking longer lunches, and every other bad time keeping habit needs to be on your list of things to avoid doing at all costs.
Remember that names really do matter
A name is probably the first thing you’ll learn about someone new that you meet, so it’s something you need to make a point of remembering. It can be a challenge at times, especially if there are a lot of new people to meet at once. Try to repeat a person’s name when you first meet them and always ask for clarification if you’re unsure of how to pronounce or spell a name.
Always make eye contact when going for a handshake
To follow on from our last business etiquette tip, make eye contact and offer a handshake when greeting colleagues and associates. Failing to make eye contact or have a firm handshake can be viewed negatively.
This is also the perfect time to repeat a person’s name if you’re meeting them for the first time. For example, “Hi ‘name’ it’s a pleasure to meet you”. Doing this can help to recall names later on if this is something you struggle with.
Keep your emails error free
The way others perceive how you communicate through email is very similar to how you’ll be judged on your appearance. Typos, bad grammar, and poor formatting is something you should save for WhatsApp messages to friends, not to work colleagues. Thankfully, there are tools you can use, such as Microsoft Word and Grammarly that will help you to tidy up your emails to a more professional standard.
Stay engaged when in conversation
Paying attention to co-workers is extremely important, so give a nod or a smile to let people know you’re engaged in what they’re saying. Additionally, try not to interrupt people when they’re talking and instead wait for an appropriate time to share your thoughts.
Don’t make a habit of being a complainer
Nobody likes a complainer and being around someone who makes a lot of negative noise can really bring down the morale of people around them. If you have an issue on something, identify a quiet moment to air your views or simply arrange a meeting with a manager.
Do you want to learn more about the tools that can spellcheck your emails or help you keep track of time? To learn more about workplace etiquette tips and tools, please contact Saxons today.