As we enter a new year, we face new challenges and opportunities. Whether you are going into the office every day, are working from home, or are working in a new, hybrid environment, there are several new workplace etiquette tips that you can put into place. Business etiquette is so important because it helps to create a respectful and professional work environment that everyone will feel comfortable in. It can also help your team members to communicate more effectively, and to be more productive as a team. We will walk you through each of these workplace etiquette best practices, and help you implement them into your own life. Let’s hear from top business experts, and see what new workplace etiquette tips they recommend.
Be Health Conscious
Ashwin Sokke, Co-founder of WOW Skin Science
This year, being health conscious at work is important now more than ever. Taking care of your body, and looking out for your co-workers is a great way to get started. When it comes to workplace etiquette, try to be aware of how your body is feeling, and if you wake up with the sniffles, it might be a good idea to ask to work from home, just to be safe. This way, you can get some rest during the day, and you will avoid putting your co-workers at risk. You can also be health-conscious by respecting face mask rules, and having some hand sanitizer in your office, available to anyone who drops in for a meeting. This will help you and others keep germs from spreading around your workplace, and shows good etiquette as well.
Socialize and Check In With Your Co-Workers
Amanda E. Johnson, CMO of HIDE
Being able to professionally socialize and communicate with your co-workers is not only great for social workplace etiquette, but it is also essential to having a well-rounded and productive team. During the pandemic, many people tried to limit personal interactions, and remain in their own bubble. However, it is critical to engage with your team members on a daily basis, in order to grow your relationships and grow as a team. You can do this by planning work lunches, or social events, or even having a speaker-series, or an engaging event that your co-workers would enjoy. Whether it is a company-sponsored event, or you just being friendly and making an effort to check in on your co-workers, this is a great way to practice good workplace etiquette, while also showing your fellow team members that you care.
Technology Etiquette During Video Calls
Chris Hetherington, Founder, and CEO of Peels
If you are invited to attend a meeting by video call, having the proper technology etiquette is key to making a good impression, while also showing your professionalism and attention to detail. Before joining a meeting, make sure that you test your technology ahead of time. This will help to prevent any problems during your call. You’ll also want to have good lighting, and a background free from distractions, so that the other people on the call can focus on the content of the meeting. Last but not least, make sure to know when to use the mute button. If someone else is talking, kindly mute yourself so that you do not interrupt when someone is speaking. However, remember to maintain eye contact so that the speaker will know that you are listening and are paying attention. Once you have something to say, simply press the unmute button and share your thoughts with the group. These technology etiquette tips will help you to be respectful of others’ time during video calls, and will let your professionalism shine.
Respect Personal Space
Dr. Robert Applebaum, Founder of Applebaum MD
A key etiquette tip that has been around for a long time, but has resurfaced and become even more important over the last two years is respecting someone’s personal space. This can include everything from hand gestures to entering someone’s office. For example, hugging and physical touch should usually be avoided in the workplace, and instead of handshakes, offer an elbow bump or just a simple smile. This way you can still offer a professional greeting, without making someone uncomfortable by jumping into their personal space. On the other hand, if you need to borrow an office item, make sure you ask that person’s permission before you borrow something that belongs to someone else. If you are having a personal conversation with someone, it is important to keep your distance, and to respect their personal space. This will allow your fellow coworkers to feel more comfortable within the shared workspace.
Keep Your Personal Phone Use To a Minimum
Kevin Miller, Founder of Kevinmiller.com
In today’s society, most people have their personal cell phone with them, wherever they go, including the office. This in many ways is good, and can even be beneficial. However, make sure that when you are on the clock, that you are spending the majority of your time focused on your work, and not on your phone. Try to keep text messaging to a minimum, and to only answer personal calls if you are on your break. This will help you to be a more productive employee, and to be a better member of the team.
Be Mindful of Others
Tri Nguyen, Co-Founder, and CEO of Network Capital
Being mindful of others in the workplace is all about being respectful of your shared space. For example, if your workplace has cubicles, or desks that are all in the same space, it is an important etiquette tip to keep your computer volume down, and to use headphones so that you do not distract other co-workers. This will also be helpful if you have a zoom call, or a virtual meeting that you need to attend. Another important rule is to keep your desk and area clean. You can do this by keeping clutter off your desk, and by eating your meals outside of the office, or in a break room. By being mindful of others, your co-workers will appreciate your thoughtfulness and lack of distractions, and will be able to be more productive throughout the day.
Avoid Touchy Conversation Topics
Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT
At the workplace, the focus of most conversations should be related to work projects, current tasks, or company-related topics. However, sometimes sensitive subjects may come up. In order to practice good workplace etiquette, try your best to avoid discussing any touchy conversation topics while at work, as this could make other coworkers uncomfortable, and can cause problems or distractions for others. Instead, try sticking to safe and easy-going topics that will help you to get to know your co-workers in a respectful manner.
Be Open To Adapting
William Schumacher, Founder, and CEO of Uprising Food
This year, many businesses are in a transition period, where they are going from an in-office work setting, to a hybrid, or even fully remote working environment. One of the best workplace etiquette tips that you can apply this year is the ability to adapt and be open to change. You can do this by embracing new opportunities, and maintaining a positive outlook. Being able to accept new changes can even help you to learn new skills, and will help to create a healthy work environment for yourself and others.
Dress For Success
Andrew Ferenci, Founder and CEO of Comrad Socks
During the height of the pandemic, when almost everyone was working from home, leisure wear became the new look for work. When you are working from home, sometimes wearing slippers and leggings is completely acceptable. However, with a new year upon us, and people starting to go back to the office, make sure that you put on professional clothes, and dress for success. Start by reviewing your workplace dress expectations. Most work environments suggest business formal, or business casual, however depending on where you work, this can be different for many companies. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure that it is both comfortable and professional, so that you will be workplace appropriate and dressed for success.
Be On Time
Dan Potter, Managing Director, and CEO of CRAFTD
An age-old rule of thumb for office etiquette that has taken on a new meaning now is being on time. If someone is hosting a meeting at work, whether you are attending in-person, or virtually, it is your responsibility and duty to be on time. Always try to arrive around five to ten minutes ahead of time for your meetings, just to be on the safe side.
Communicate With Your Team
John Rampton, Founder and CEO Calendar.com
As the CEO of my company, I like to set the stage by having simple office etiquette guidelines to follow. First, we protect and respect our time. We do this by keeping a shared calendar. We schedule everything on our calendar, from our own events to collaborative events. This gives everyone the chance to check out each other’s schedule before scheduling things with them. We like to establish a workplace culture where everyone’s time is valuable. We don’t have pointless meetings, and we schedule everything while still being able to make time for each other. Second, we work on a capacity basis. We accomplish this by letting each other know our capacity each week so the team knows who is available to take on small tasks for each other. This helps my team feel more relaxed so they can be as productive as possible and provide value to each other. Lastly, we promote team building. For example, we have team lunch on Fridays. We might go out to eat or we might just get it delivered to the office. Either way, it’s a great time to reflect on the work week and commence a great weekend ahead! Another thing we do to encourage team building is taking walks a few times a week. This gives us a chance to clear our minds as well as get away from the computers to get some fresh air. Whatever the case, team building is one of the most important parts of having good office etiquette.
Keep Each Other Accountable and Find Ways To Build Your Co-Workers Up
Daisy Jing, Founder and CEO Banish
Gossip isn’t tolerated at our company. If someone begins to involve you in gossip, it’s your responsibility to let him or her know that this is not okay. Each team member is responsible for making sure the policies of our company are carried out. If you see another team member altering policy, it’s your responsibility to correct him or her or to let the employer or manager know so, he or she can correct the violator. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, submit a written report to the practice manager. This is not tattling. Tattling is a form of gossip that spreads news of no importance. On the other hand, reporting a policy violation is an employee’s duty. Policies that aren’t carried out or that are altered are detrimental to the team. Everyone must work for the good and progression of the team. Constant communication and alignment in vision and mission are necessary for us to be respectful. We empower others; it is a must that we ourselves are empowered within the company.
These new workplace etiquette tips will help you to be more efficient and productive this year. Remember to always act in a professional manner, and to respect your fellow employees. This will help you to be more aware at work, and to be a better colleague on your team.