⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

15 Work Etiquette Rules That Will Make You Look More Professional

⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
15 Work Etiquette Rules That Will Make You Look More Professional

Work etiquette is key to maintaining a pleasant and effective office. All workplaces are different, but basic work etiquette is pretty universal within a country. (Of course, once you start doing business with people from other countries, you might want to brush up on their etiquette rules. For example, in China it’s considered rude if you don’t take a business card with both hands.)

So for those of you doing business in the US, here are 15 basic work etiquette tips for making your professional life enjoyable.

1. Don’t fidget in meetings

large_4028007217

    Tapping your foot, jiggling your leg, drumming your fingers: this is all stuff you should avoid doing. If you’re fidgeting, it makes you seem nervous or bored. Don’t send the message that you’d rather not be there.

    2. Put your phone on silent

    medium_2160778123

      Cell phones going off in the middle of a meeting? Never good. Put your phone on silent. If you find you’re still tempted to look at it, consider leaving your cell at your desk before the meeting.

      3. Eat your own food

      ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

      ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
      medium_7116268909

        This is a problem in many communal settings, from college dorms to corporate office buildings. If you didn’t bring it, or if it doesn’t have a sign that’s telling you to help yourself, leave it alone.

        4. Know what you’re going to say

        medium_6490384725

          “Um” and “Uh” have no place in the office. Whether you’re talking to a colleague or speaking to a potential client, try to keep the stammering to a minimum. Saying “um” a lot implies that you don’t really know what you’re talking about and are stalling for time.

          5. Pay at restaurants

          medium_8418501448

            If you’ve set up a lunch meeting with someone, pay for his or her meal. As the host, it’s your job to be accommodating and polite.

            6. Respect others’ space

            medium_2314145419

              Cubicles don’t make for much of a sound or smell barrier, so be mindful of those around you. Don’t eat at your desk if you can help it, and try to speak in a lower voice when on the phone.

              ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

              ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

              7. Give a good handshake.

              medium_252924532

                The first impression that most people get of others in work settings is through a handshake. Make sure to keep it firm and brief. This makes you seem confident without overdoing it.

                8. Offer to take out-of-towners around

                medium_6216782907

                  When people come in from another city or state for a meeting, offer to show them around town. Maybe that just means a short driving tour, or perhaps a trip to a restaurant. This makes you and your company seem more likable and friendly.

                  9. Show up on time

                  medium_4259345586

                    Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed and get going—we’ve all been there. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a valid excuse for being late to work. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t make it on time, but don’t make it a habit. Being late makes you seem unprofessional.

                    10. Introduce yourself using your first and last names

                    ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
                    ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
                    medium_152488320

                      In some settings, it’s fine to just introduce yourself by your first name. But in business settings, you should always introduce yourself by your first and last names. After all, you want people to know who you are.

                      11. Don’t stray off topic

                      medium_10108243615

                        When speaking to people in a work setting, try to limit yourself to work topics. This is not the time to start talking about your latest vacation, your new dog, or your family. Keep all conversations about work only. If you’re friends with your coworkers, use your lunch break to talk about non work-related topics.

                        12. Know others’ titles

                        medium_6153057146

                          If you don’t know what title someone holds (i.e., Doctor), do some research and find out. It’s unprofessional to send someone an email using “Ms.” when it should be “Dr.” LinkedIn is a good place to look for this information.

                          13. Remain professional outside of work

                          medium_76057102

                            And yes, this includes the company holiday party. Even if you’re not at work, your personal life reflects on your company. Think twice before doing anything that could make you look bad at work.

                            ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
                            ⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄

                            14. Dress appropriately

                            medium_145402545

                              If your work is business casual, that’s what you should be wearing. If something requires you to wear a three piece suit, make sure you show up wearing one. Appropriate clothing is key to maintaining professionalism.

                              15. Respect workplace boundaries

                              medium_3382706093

                                It’s great if you’re friends with your boss, but don’t take it too far. Being friendly is a lot different than expecting preferential treatment. Keep it professional and try to separate your work relationships from your personal ones (even if they’re with the same person).

                                Featured photo credit: Jacob Barss-Bailey via flickr.com

                                More by this author

                                Maggie Heath

                                Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

                                9 Ways To Be Less Clingy In Your Relationship
                                9 Ways To Be Less Clingy In Your Relationship
                                Useful Chart: Fruits That You Can and Cannot Let Your Dog Eat
                                Useful Chart: Fruits That You Can and Cannot Let Your Dog Eat
                                Nomnomnom! 4 Flavourful Cake Frosting Recipes That You Cannot Miss!
                                Nomnomnom! 4 Flavourful Cake Frosting Recipes That You Cannot Miss!
                                10 Blow Your Mind Surprises You Can Hide In A Cake!
                                10 Blow Your Mind Surprises You Can Hide In A Cake!
                                5 Budget Airlines To Consider When You Travel Within Europe
                                5 Budget Airlines To Consider When You Travel Within Europe

                                Trending in Work

                                1 20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2022 Updated) 2 10 Simple Yet Powerful Business Goals to Set This Year 3 Why Would Anyone Want To Work In Rural Areas? 4 How to Quit Your Job to Start a Business: 13 Untold Tips 5 Becoming a Life Coach: How I Turned Life Experience into Coaching

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Explore the Full Life Framework

                                Advertising
                                Advertising