Business Etiquette

The technology boom has revolutionized many companies’ policies regarding attire, work spaces, and flexibility.  These policies are specific to each company – or sometimes to each department – and should be explored and researched as you hunt for a job or begin a new one.  However, one thing that remains constant across all industries is workplace etiquette and it can go a long way to nailing the interview, closing the deal, or creating a lasting relationship.

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

  • Whether it’s e-mail, phone, Skype, or in-person, make it count!
  • Set the tone by being prompt.
    • Pro-tip: if it’s a meeting or interview, 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to show preparedness without appearing overeager or nervous.
  • It is always better to overdress rather than underdress.
  • Body language is important: upon introduction, give a firm handshake, eye contact, and a polite greeting.
  • Turn your body and eyes towards the person you are addressing
  • Be positive and smile 🙂


The Workspace is for Everybody

  • Be mindful of your workspace.  Keep it tidy and clean.
  • If you are eating at your desk, make sure that you are not disrupting your colleagues with the noise or smell.
  • When you need to take a personal call, find a private area to talk.
  • Pick up things lying on the floor, even if you didn’t put it there.


The Office Elevator

  • Make space for others to enter/exit.
  • If the elevator is crowded, press the buttons for those who cannot reach.
  • Hold the doors open if you see your coworkers making for the elevator.


Communicate Effectively

  • Respond to e-mails and voicemails promptly.  If you cannot commit to a follow-up call or meeting, it is still better to acknowledge the contact rather than ignore the communication altogether.
  • Let your manager and your team know if you are running late.
  • Jokes keep the office atmosphere light and light teasing can bring teams closer together.  But tread carefully, offence can be taken. A good rule to follow: if you wouldn’t say it in front of your boss, keep it out of the workplace.

The first steps toward a pleasant workplace are respect and understanding, and good etiquette is set of guidelines that will direct you on this path.