It’s a given you need to be good at your job.
But you also need to have really good “soft skills” where you fit into the culture where you’re working.
And if you aren’t doing these things — you need to stop what you’re doing! These 13 office etiquette rules are a must. Don’t make the mistake and not do them because it could be the difference between success and failure at your job.
Here’s my list of the top 13 office etiquette rules that you must follow – no exceptions.
13 Office Etiquette Musts
- Make eye contact with people in the office. People want to work with happy, social people. Eye-contact shows attentiveness and confidence.
- Give a good, firm handshake (but not too firm or you’ll be seen as controlling).
- Always have good hygiene (Do: brush your hair and your teeth before work; Do Not: clip your finger nails in the office — ever).
- Wear appropriate clothes for the office you’re in. But be sure to dress for the job you want not the job you have. If you act like you’re already in the role you want, it’ll be easy for your boss to see you in that position. And never push the dress code. You don’t want to be “that” person in the office.
- Do not gossip about coworkers, superiors, or the company. This is just good practice, but if that’s not convincing enough for you, know that psychology has shown that the person listening to you will attribute the negative things you say about someone else to you instead of the other person (e.g. You tell Adam that Liz is terrible at her job. Adam will really begin to think that you do poor work).
- Keep relationships professional. Even spending too much time with one person may appear unprofessional.
- Be mindful of your language in the office. Too much swearing is unprofessional.
- Articulate and use proper English (e.g. save “ain’t” for outside the office).
- Smile and be social. You want to be friendly and likable, but don’t overdo it or you’ll be a seen as a distraction.
- Get to work 5 minutes early and leave 5 minutes late if you have a set schedule (this shows commitment and reliability).
- Do not get drunk with your coworkers. If you go to happy hour with a group of people with whom you work, maintain the professionalism you’d have in the office. If you want to be respected, act respectably. This means you shouldn’t get drunk with coworkers, especially if your supervisor or boss is present.
- Keep your office space tidy, including throwing away food after you’re done eating (no one wants to smell your leftovers in the office).
- Maintain the utmost integrity. This means you do what you say you’re going to do (e.g. If you say you’ll send someone an email, or you say you’ll be there at 9am, just do it!) If you always do what you say you’re going to do, you’ll be in such a small group of respected people in your office that they’ll want to keep you around.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now.. These are a good starting point if you’re wondering how to fit in or just landed a new job.