Office Etiquette

Author: Adrianne   Date Posted:13 September 2016 

Create less drama and make life easier for yourself as well as your co-workers with these five short tips.

When starting a new job or visiting a neighbouring facility it can be daunting to be in an unknown environment. Occasionally, an office can feel rigid and unwelcoming at first experience. We have put together some short, universal rules of office etiquette to make it easier for you to navigate by.


Say hello

A simple greeting and farewell can make all the difference. You don’t need to stop and exchange your whole life story but acknowledging other’s existence is only polite and it is amazing how much it can increase morale. Say hello when you arrive in the morning, say goodbye as you are leaving, maybe even stop and shoot the breeze. You don’t have to socialize outside of the workplace but you are spending a large portion of your life with these people so you should at least know their names, don’t you think?


Accept blame and share credit

Making a mistake is not the end of the world, what is worse is not accepting the responsibility or passing the blame to someone else, even if you don’t get caught out by management your co-workers will know. Similarly, not sharing the credit with your co-workers will also get you a negative reputation around the office. So accept blame and share the credit, short term you may not get the greatest advantages, but the long term benefits will be worth being a decent human being.


Email etiquette

Again: say hello. It doesn’t need to be overly friendly but start with a greeting of some kind, even if just acknowledging the name of the recipient. Keep the content short and to the point. Avoid use (or over-use) of different fonts and colours. Sign off.


Take your sick leave if you need it

Offices are breeding grounds for germs and infections despite the popularity of hand sanitizer and cleaning sprays. You might feel like you are being studious by working through while under the weather but all you are really doing is increasing the likelihood of the entire office getting sick and no work getting done. Take your sick leave if you need it. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.


Be aware of the impression you are leaving

A bad or strong smell can be as unwelcoming as yelling at someone. Be aware of your own aroma – be it perfume or body odour – but also of food and your personal area. Flowers are lovely to look at but can cause all sorts of discomfort to more sensitive noses.


At the end of the day etiquette – whether it is in the office or in your everyday life – is all about respect. Respect yourself, your environment and your colleagues and the time you spend at the office will be more comfortable for everyone.

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