Etiquette is not a lost art. Knowing the proper ways to present yourself in a certain situation can help to make sure that you are moving toward success. This is especially true at work. If you have ever had a co-worker who ignores certain common courtesies, you know how distracting it can be.
Those distractions can also have negative effects on your team. Ignoring etiquette in the workplace can decrease productivity and team morale, and increase stress and frustration. Often, this becomes a never-ending cycle of negativity. To prevent this, there are many ways to practice workplace etiquette.
Return to the Basics
Saying “please” and “thank you” will provide a stable foundation in any situation. Whether you are the boss or a brand new intern, these words never go out of style. It is also a smart consideration to practice being on time – even early – for meetings. Once at your meetings, be fully present. This means putting your cell phone on silent and in your pocket, while participating in the topic being discussed.
Since each workplace is different, it is smart to review your employment manual, likely given to you when hired, to make sure that you are following workplace rules. This should cover appropriate clothing, technology use, and conflict management. If you do not know where your copy is, check with your Human Resources department. Making sure that you and your co-workers are on the same page can help prevent conflicts.
Working in a cubicle environment provides its own set of rules as privacy is at a minimum. One of the main ways to approach a co-worker who works in a cubicle is to pretend that they are in their own office (because in a sense, they are). When it comes to your own actions at your desk, however, remember that you are not in an office. After taking those factors into account, follow some of these tips:
Things to Consider in Shared Spaces
There is more to consider than property and noise concerns at work. All of our senses are involved in our workday, and should be thought of when interacting with co-workers.
Conflict Resolution Tips
If you are noticing someone causing problems in your work place, consult your Employment Manual for how to resolve conflicts according to protocol. If appropriate, speak with your co-worker about their behavior. Approach them with respect and focus on the benefits that can arise from some changes, while also helping to seek solutions. If problems are not getting better, or are getting worse, speak to your supervisor or a representative from Human Resources to help resolve the issue.