The unwritten rules of etiquette in the workplace

empty black rolling chairs at cubicles

Being courteous to your co-workers ensures a level of respect that can unify any work environment. Common courtesy is the foundation that builds a lasting bond. A shared bond in the workplace means efficient work can take place. You won’t find Jim doing his own thing, instead, you will find Jim asking Mike for his opinion on a project. However, as quickly as unity can be formed, it can also fade as soon as everyone starts to forget the rules of etiquette.

Did you swallow a loud speaker?

If your office space is quite cramped, it can be easy to overhear a conversation that’s taking place next to you. Be wary of your tone of voice whenever speaking to your colleagues. Not everyone can cancel out noise and may find it difficult to concentrate when there is constant chatter going on around them. Be mindful of others as you may not always be aware of how loud you could be speaking.

Take responsibility for your actions

Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we handle those mistakes that show our true character. What does your character say about you when you are faced with criticism? Do you take it in good stride or do you feel that the person has obviously made a mistake because there’s no way that you could have missed something?

Many business schools in Johannesburg impart this important life lesson to their students. Take immediate responsibility if you’ve missed an essential aspect of your work or if you’ve missed deadline. You will be able to move on from the subject and hopefully learn from it.

Dress appropriately

Whether you work in a corporate environment or at a chilled advertising agency where a tie is optional, dress code is still a very important factor in any office. Even if you don’t deal with clients on a daily basis, you are still dealing with your colleagues. Dressing half naked, in a mini skirt and tank top is unprofessional and not at all suitable for the work environment.

Don’t forget your courtesy words

“Please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are words that should never be left at home. When you happen to use these courtesy words, there should be no hint of sarcasm in your tone. Always be sincere in what you say and be mindful of how you say it. Respect goes a long way in the workplace.