You might feel that the word etiquette is a tad old-fashioned or it might conjure up the dining room scene from pretty woman; but in the business world, etiquette is more to do with presenting yourself in an acceptable, professional manner and, believe us, it is mighty important to keep things running smoothly – think of it as a social lubricant that is essential in an office filled with all types of people.
Some of it is basic common sense, but nevertheless, we have put together a handy list of the essential etiquettes that will stand you in good stead no matter where you work.
1. Present a professional image
Most corporate environments have dress codes for a specific reason; to ensure you represent the company in a certain manner. The same extends to your personal image within the company too.
So, do ensure that you wear well fitted and fresh clothes and keep your entire look updated and simple – this includes everything from your hair to your accessories.
First meetings matter a lot – they can set the tone for the rest of your working relationship with the other person! Be sure to introduce your self in a clear and concise manner, preferably with your visiting card.
Depending on the situation, do take out the time to get to know some personal details about the person – it might get you started on a positive note or at the very least help the other person remember you better the next time around.
3. Be Punctual
Punctuality can never go out of style. As a fresher (or for that matter even as a CEO) you need to respect people’s time.
In case you feel, that a delay is unavoidable then do call ahead and apologise and reschedule – don’t make the other person wait!
4. Don’t Gossip
Yes, we know gossip is inevitable when people come together. However, it’s best to stay away from internal office politics for as long as you can.
Over time you will, of course, make friends and fall into cliques, but make it a policy to discourage gossip and negative conversations about your colleagues. You never know whom you might have to work with next!
5. Recheck your emails
We deal with hundreds – if not thousands – of emails every month. One tends to just type quickly and hit send – especially when time is short. A minute extra spent rereading your mail will save you potential embarrassment down the line! Also, never put down controversial statements on mail. I am sure you have heard enough news stories about embarrassing email leaks which cost people their jobs and reputations.
Don’t send emails without checking them first – especially when you are sending them to large groups.
6. Be mindful of people around you
Until you get your own cabin, chances are you will be sharing an open space with lots of people. To get along with every one do keep some things in mind –
Never eat at your desk
Don’t hold conversations on the speakerphone
Don’t interrupt colleagues with conversation when they are working
Keep your workstation/desk tidy
7. A bit of politeness goes a long way
Even if you are among friends, an office environment demands clean language. Overtly informal behaviour and abusive language can land you in hot water. Stick to safe, formal language and tone when you are not sure of your audience.
Sprinkle your day with lots of smiles, thank you and please and you will be sure to get along with everyone just fine.
Changing times and norms are making work environments faster and more hectic. But even in all this modern chaos, professional behaviour has an important place. Basic etiquettes ensure that you become a valued colleague – after all don’t we all want to work with people we like and get along with?
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