Etiquette for the Workplace

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Workplace etiquette is an important part of creating a comfortable and professional environment. While not everyone adheres to etiquette guidelines in the same manner, it is still prudent to communicate them to employees so that everyone is aware of company expectations regarding conduct. Etiquette for the workplace includes professional presentation and proper communication, both of which enhance your business image.

Dress Appropriately at All Times

Your professional image is one of the first things your clients and colleagues notice about you. If you look sloppy or overly casual, you will not be taken very seriously -- professionally speaking. Follow your company's dress code, or if there is not one, initiate one yourself. Even if your company is super casual, dress business casual instead. According to "Forbes," women should never show up to work in flip-flops, miniskirts or skintight jeans; men should avoid denim shorts and T-shirts.

Communicate Properly

Good communication is the key to getting things done around the office. From signing up for specific projects and tasks to going over an employee evaluation, the key to a smooth environment is the ability to communicate effectively. Remain professional at all times, speak clearly and voice your opinion in a polite manner, without insulting those around you. The better you communicate, the more your colleagues will respect what you have to say.

Avoid Office Gossip

Don't get involved in office gossip because it ruins the reputation of the person you are talking about as well as your own. Moreover, it simply isn't proper etiquette in general to spread rumors about other people. If someone in your office tries to share tidbits from the rumor mill with you, refrain from engaging her and change the subject to something work-oriented. Not only does this discourage people from gossiping, but it also sets the tone that you will not participate.

Practice Good Phone Etiquette

Always answer the phone in a professional manner, with the name of the company as well as your name. If you are on a personal call, keep it short and avoid talking or laughing loudly for the whole office to hear. Don't argue with customers or clients, and don't keep callers on hold for extended periods of time. If you need more time to find out the answer to someone's question, take down a name and number and call him back.

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