Top 10 Most Important Office Etiquette Tips

Having flaws is only human, but having bad manners is simply barbaric, so unless you work as a barbarian you will need to learn some proper office etiquette. It’s basic politeness to accept others for who they are, and raising awareness about office tolerance is an important matter. Conversation skills are something you can work on as well since they can help you out in both private and work related situations. Once again this does not apply if your goal is to have a magnificent Valhalla experience. In other words – if you don’t set any limits, your office will look like a jungle, not a place of work. A working environment needs to have certain standards that must be respected by all and with no exceptions. It’s probably best not to treat those standards like if they were set in stone – because there are always rebels – but as ground rules.

See Also: Top 10 Funny Office Rules To Live By

1. Don’t Be Loud

Unless there is a fire in the near vicinity, or a “Sharknado” style natural disaster, there is no good reason to yell or to be loud when you need to get a point across. No one likes loud people. Sure, the rest of the office will listen to your monolog until you’re done, but that’s just because they can’t even hear their own thoughts. You should also pay attention to your ringtone volume, and have in mind that too much office chatter isn’t exactly great for productivity. You should try to speak in a calm tone of voice – otherwise, you’ll just encourage office aggression with no cause whatsoever.

2. Don’t Interrupt


Which brings me to my next point – don’t try to outscream someone in order to express your opinion. You are in the office, after all, not in a death metal band. Basic manners imply you should wait until someone is done with their sentence to start with your own. Keep in mind that if a person is constantly interrupting you, you can go all Batman on him - this, of course, means that you just disappear into the shadows in the middle of his speech -don’t pulverize that person in the name of justice.

The truth is that there’s enough time for everyone to say what they want, therefore we should all be polite about it. If you start feeling neglected and you simply can’t state your mind, you should definitely consult your boss and find an appropriately calm solution to your problem. Your ideas are as important as anyone else’s and you should be able to share them.

3. Mind the Smells

First of all, you need to understand that you’re all sharing the same space and everyone is entitled to a certain portion of it. The same should apply for air – you shouldn’t let your body odour permeate the office, let alone the entire building. Perfumes that are too harsh and food that smells way too strong should be avoided also – not everyone considers the same scents appealing. Furthermore, there is no victor in the game of “Guess who had onions for breakfast”, so don’t try to play it each morning. You can save seductive perfumes for your partner and enjoy your smelly French cheese during dinner; there’s nothing you need to give up, just change your schedule a bit.

4. Don’t Be Boastful

This is similar to being unnecessarily loud. Your accomplishments will be acknowledged without you overstating them. Moreover, if no one acknowledges them, maybe they are not really accomplishments. What do you want? A cookie? You are just doing your job and you are already getting paid for that.  Besides, everyone will appreciate you more as a person if you share the credit with those who contributed to finishing your task successfully. Being nice and helpful to those around you is just good karma. Also, you’ll participate in a bit of team building, and you can be sure it won’t go unnoticed – people who can finish up their tasks before the deadline and still find time to help others are always desirable. It is only natural that you want to project confidence in the workplace but there are other ways of doing this without being boastful.

5. Be Neat

Didn’t you get the memo? No one thinks you are a rock star, not even for a second. In fact, we are all afraid to imagine how your apartment looks like, and we all hope we never have to find out. Should we be worried? Are you a hoarder? Being messy implies other things, and none of them will help you climb the corporate ladder. Clean up after yourself, everybody else does, and God knows we are not asking too much. Sure, it might be boring at times, but sticking to this routine will save you a lot of time. Don’t forget the previous advice though, once you clean up remember not to boast about it. As any wise old karate master will tell you, habits like this encourage discipline and order, which are two really important factors that affect the overall office atmosphere – which means that others are bound to follow your example.

6. Don’t Be Late


Wouldn’t it be easier just to appear on time, than to come up with a new excuse every morning? When someone says “dreams are important” or “never let go of your dreams” it does not mean you should sleep as much as you like. It goes without saying that no one believes you are cool enough to lead some sort double life at night. Being late clearly shows a lack of responsibility, and you can be absolutely sure that your boss won’t find it adorable or that it will go unnoticed. A healthy sleeping routine should solve this problem for you – you don’t want something as trivial as this to cost you your promotion or your job. You just need to realize there’s enough time during the day to do everything you want – you just need to get up early and make a couple of changes in your schedule.

7. Don’t Get too Personal

Well, you did not mention that collecting sexual harassment charges was your hobby. It’s not? Then why are you hitting on every female co-worker? Just because they choose to be a bigger person and are nice to you, that doesn’t mean that they are all just waiting to get their hands on you. Also, your pick up lines are more awful than the ones from Two and a Half Men, why are you doing this to yourself? People who take business too seriously or those who develop an intimate relationship with their coworkers usually get burnt. You need to ensure that you leave your private issues at the office door so that you don’t fall into unnecessary conflicts.

8. Act Like an Adult

Darth Vader

Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no “Bring your lightsaber to work” day, and you should lose the Darth Vader helmet while you are at it. There is a time and place for these things and it’s called Comic-Con. Also, maybe it’s a good thing your boss doesn’t know who emperor Palpatine is, otherwise he could get offended. We’re all grownups here, and you can’t possibly expect to be treated as one if you play with your hair, bite your nails, blow your nose during a meeting or come to work when you’re sick. All of these things point out that you’re childish and that you don’t have control over your own body, which is not something to be proud of. A true professional is capable of controlling their body language – if this isn’t something you have been working on up until now, you should consider doing some research or signing up for a class, and you can think of it as an investment in your career. People do react to subtle subliminal cues, and knowing how to get their attention can be a determining factor at times.

9. Don’t Gossip

High school is over – there’s no more room for mean girls, popular athletes, judgy haters, nerds, bullies or any other juvenile group of people. When you’re in an office, you’re a team and you all need to work together in order to accomplish great things. It’s completely normal to get frustrated because of someone’s behavior, especially when you spend that much time with the same group of people day after day. However, there’s an appropriate way to sort out unresolved issues, and it’s definitely not through gossiping. Just sit down, talk it out, and express your true emotions and frustrations without raising your voice or being sarcastic. Tension that hasn’t been dealt with early on can have really bad consequences, and it can blow up in your face when you least expect it.

10. Dress to Impress

An office isn’t a place to emphasize your curves. Clothes that you wore in your 20s won’t do you any justice – it will only make you seem unprofessional. There is something called workwear and these are the outfits you need to stick with. It will take some getting used to them, but after a while you will start to find these formal clothes quite comfortable and more than appropriate.

See Also: Poor Office Etiquette – The Worst Offenders

Although it may seem like it, this isn’t a lot to take in. Basically, it’s common decency – each of these ten office etiquette tips are familiar to you, you just need to start applying them. It’s all for the greater good really, because if you take all of this in you’ll have a wonderful office environment and you’ll love working in it. Look at it this way – the same effort you’d invest into sabotaging, gossiping or trying to get credit you don’t deserve may be transferred into hard work, helping others and contributing to the company’s success.