One of the biggest mistakes a new professional can make is to not be aware of the various rules and etiquettes that exist within an office. You have to learn these policies and social conventions as quickly as possible. A misstep or faux pas can have a serious impact on future raises, promotions, and even the social environment of the office. Here are 10 office etiquette tips that can help you adjust to your new workplace.
1. Arrive Early
Find out how long it takes to go from home to work and then leave at least 15 minutes early. Traffic can be unpredictable, and nobody wants to hear your excuses of heavy traffic or an accident on the road. Consistently arriving early also paints a portrait of a dedicated and conscientious employee.
2. Dress Appropriately
Look around the office and notice what coworkers are wearing. Is it business casual, or suits and ties? Once you have an idea of the office atmosphere, select clothes in advance. They should be neat and professional, but at the same time comfortable and non-restrictive.
3. Make Good Introductions
First impressions set the tone for a relationship, and an introduction is the perfect chance to make a good one. You never know when you’ll meet someone new, so it’s a good skill to keep in practice.
4. Remember Names
Along with a good introduction is a good memory. People are usually impressed when you take the time to learn their names, so be sure to make it a priority.
Remember, it’s okay to ask someone to repeat their name in an introduction in fact, it’s much better than having to ask for their name again a month down the road. Be sure to repeat the name when first introduced. It’s not only courteous, but it will help you remember it for the future.
5. Organize Your Workspace
Some offices encourage “fun” workspaces that are full of pictures, magazines, and personal flair. Others companies expect more straight-laced and plain desks. But whatever the etiquette for office workspace, remember to keep your desk clean and organized. If your desk looks like a sloppy mess, people will associate the same about you.
6. Office Correspondence Should Be Formal
Emails should be written as if they were formal letters. Never use slang words or abbreviations. Companies normally store employee emails for years, so write as if your correspondence is going in the history books.
7. Share the Credit
Nobody likes a glory hog. Share the credit for group work and you’ll look like a team player. Also, this will generate goodwill amongst co-workers that can be reciprocated.
8. Share Your Interests
Build cohesion between yourself and coworkers by sharing your passions. This will connect you on a personal level, building trust and teamwork with those you work with. It also articulates who you are as a professional, and what’s important to you. It’s important to note there’s a line between sharing too little and too much. Sharing too much information can you leave you vulnerable, both professional and personally.
9. Don’t Come to Work If You’re Too Sick.
Showing up to work when you’re contagious can start a domino effect that can decimate the entire office. For the good of your coworkers, stay home and rest. To show diligence and professionalism, tell your coworkers to call if they need assistance, or make yourself available online.
10. Don’t Be Out the Door at Five O’clock
It won’t hurt you to stay a few minutes past closing. Others will see that you care about your job and don’t mind staying a little late to make sure it gets done.
Remember that office etiquette is an important part of your work environment. Neglect it and you could damage your career and standing. Follow it and you can earn renown and a good reputation that could lead to bigger and better things within the company.