The 6 Most-Overlooked Rules of Office Etiquette

by Staff Writers

By Katheryn Rivas

Many individuals who earn online degrees eventually find themselves in a new workplace where the etiquette may differ from their previous job. However, the standards for one company may be surprisingly similar to others, despite an individual's original assumptions. Several office etiquette rules that span across all businesses are often overlooked and misunderstood by new workers. Existing employees may also fail to acknowledge the respect and ethical code that should be maintained in the workplace on occasion. By keeping in mind the unspoken rules of the office, individuals may increase their chances of moving up in a company and enhancing their relationships with colleagues.

  1. Learn to hold your tongue. One popular mistake that can lead to an individual's downfall with a company is speaking out of turn. Experts recommend that employees should think twice before opening their mouth to fellow co-workers, including their superiors. Taking the time to formulate thoughts before jotting them down into a mass e-mail or whispering it to a colleague may be worth the extra minute. Criticism may be productive and beneficial when explained in an articulate, calm manner.
  2. Turn off the BlackBerry. Experts say that one of the main reasons for tension between colleagues in the workplace is technology. Because many companies are based around advanced gadgets and computers, it can be hard to put down a smartphone to pay attention to a meeting. However, analysts say that being courteous and turning it off can go a long way. Employees are more likely to bond and develop respect for each other without disruptions. This could lead to more productivity for the company for years to come.
  3. Be conscious of other employees. Individuals are encouraged to remember that their colleagues have feelings, too. Understanding other employees' boundaries for work and play can be beneficial in the future. If a colleague typically reacts hastily to news, a person might want to keep clear of extended conversations. If someone appears to wear their heart on their sleeve, an individual may want to have this in mind during a casual chat. Acknowledging the conversational traits of others can help maintain relationships in the workplace.
  4. Wear proper attire. Some companies have a strict professional dress code, while others may let their employees dress casually throughout the week. Regardless, individuals are encouraged to make an effort to tend to their appearance before they arrive at the office. Flip-flops and sneakers are not acceptable workplace pieces, in addition to anything that shows midriff. If the job does not require a tie, a collared shirt should be worn. Employees who have tattoos or piercings should try to cover them as best they can with clothing as well. Other colleagues might take advantage of the option to dress casually, but individuals who present themselves in a professional manner are more likely to gain respect.
  5. Don't forget your manners. People are taught at a young age to apologize when interrupting others, and this rule should be applied to the workplace at all times. When accidentally jumping into a conversation between colleagues, an apology can show a sign of respect and politeness. Individuals who earn a reputation for being rude may face adversity from co-workers and their superiors. Employees who start off on the right foot can avoid confrontation and conflict later down the road.
  6. Stay level-headed. It can be easy to get carried away with the drama of the workplace, but the employee who can stay calm in tense situations typically sees positive results. Individuals who overreact to situations in the office are more likely to fall out of favor with their colleagues and risk their jobs. Emotions may run high between employees, but keeping cool can pay off.