50 Amazing Office Etiquette Tips to Transform Your Company Culture


50 Amazing Office Etiquette Tips to Transform Your Company Culture

Effective office etiquette can help transform a company culture and can even result in the difference between business success and business failure.

In recognition of National Business Etiquette Week, Small Business Trends has compiled a list of 50 amazing office etiquette tips to transform your company culture.

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Office Etiquette Tips

An Office Isn’t a Rock Concert, Keep Noise to a Minimum

Other than the necessities, like speaking on the phone and talking with co-workers, keep noise low in an office, after all, you’re all there to work.



Put Personal Phones Onto Silent

Personal phones blasting out into the office can naturally be disrupting and off-putting to fellow workers.

Avoid Taking Personal Calls at Your Desk

Chatting to your best friend about Saturday’s night out is hardly conducive with hard work. Avoid taking personal calls in office time.

Reply to Colleague’s Messages in a Timely Manner

When receiving emails, voice messages, Skype messages, texts and other forms of correspondence from colleagues, reply in a timely manner instead of keeping them waiting.

Show Respect to Colleagues at All Times

When working in an open office environment, respect is the crux of an affable, effective company culture. Treat colleagues with the same level of respect you would expect to be treated yourself.

Don’t Interrupt Colleagues when They Are Speaking

Interrupting others is rude and shows a lack of social skills.

Be Mindful of Your Body Language

Body language speaks volumes in working environments. Talking to colleagues with your arms crossed and without making eye contact could be perceived as being rude.

Be Polite to Other People in the Office

The words please and thank-you can never be overused, especially in a working environment.

Be Pleasant to Others in the Office

Being pleasant and friendly to colleagues will craft a company culture that is desirable to work in, thus helping to retain and attract employees.

Pay Attention to the Interests of Co-Workers

Show a genuine interest into the hobbies and past-times of other workers.

Share Your Own Interests with Other Workers

By the same token, show friendliness by being willing to share your own interests and hobbies with your fellow employees.

Share the Credit for Good Work

If you have co-worked on a successful project or task, share the credit between colleagues and teams.

Be a Team Player

Working well with colleagues and being part of a team will help generate good will amongst your co-workers that is often reciprocated.

Help New Employees and Interns by Showing Them the Rules

We all feel nervous on our first few days at a job. Show new employees respect by informing them of certain office ‘rules’, such as the time of breaks and lunch hours and where to make a drink.

Introduce New Employees to Other Members of the Team

When showing new employees round the office, introduce them to other team members and other departments so they can start putting names to faces.

Help Colleagues That May Be Struggling With a Deadline or Project

If you know that a fellow employee is struggling with some aspect of their work and you have the knowledge and skills to help them, go ahead and lend them a helping hand, after all, most businesses are driven by team efforts.

Keep Smiling

A smile a day keeps bad moods at bay! Smiling throughout the day helps generate a pleasant and friendly working environment.

Don’t Be Late to Work

Slinking into the office half an hour after everyone else will not paint yourself in a professional light. Being on time to work is a basic office etiquette requirement.

Praise Fellow Workers for Good Work

Part of showing colleagues respect it showing appreciation and gratitude for good work. Give praise where it’s deserved.

Try and Remember Co-Workers’ Names

Some people have better memories than others, granted. However, doing your best to remember the names of other people in the office will show colleagues the respect they deserve.

Treat Others Fairly

You may be friendlier with certain co-workers than others, but all members of staff should be treated fairly to prevent favoritism casting a shadow on the office culture.

Refrain from Getting Too Personal With Others at Work

It might be nice to be friendly with colleagues but getting too personal and paly can show favoritism and an unprofessional tone.

Avoid Cursing in the Workplace

It might sound obvious but using bad language at work is a definite office no-no.

Give Fellow Office Workers Space and Privacy to Work

Collaborating and conversing with co-workers is naturally required but respect each other’s privacy and give colleagues their own space so they can get on with their job.

Be Mindful of Smells: Eat Your Lunch and Snacks Away from Your Desk

Nobody wants to work in a smelly environment. Refrain from creating an unnecessarily smelly workplace by eating away from your desk. Eat meals and snacks in the likes of the staff restaurant or in a café down the road.

Pay Attention to Personal Hygiene

Of course, smells come in a multitude of guises! Paying attention to personal hygiene will ensure you’re not avoided being sat next to at work.

Avoid Overdoing the Perfume or Aftershave

That said, too much perfume or aftershave can create a sickly aroma in a confined office space. Don’t infringe your favorite perfume on co-workers too much that it is all they can smell all day!

Keep Office Attire Professional

Even if you have a company culture of wearing jeans and trainers to the office, show respect to clothing conduct by avoiding turning up to work in sandals and Bermuda shorts!

Keep Your Desk Neat and Tidy

Show your organizational skills and professional image by keeping your own desk tidy and in order throughout the working day.

Keep Your Personal Belongings Confined to a Specific Space

Rather than having your lipstick, wallet, coat, handbag, mobile phone and diary spread across the office, keep personal belongings in one specific space, so they don’t get in the way of others.

Help Maintain the Overall Tidiness of the Whole Office

As well as keeping your own desk neat and tidy, work together as a team to maintain the tidiness of the whole office, including break out areas, staff kitchens, bathrooms and canteens.

If You’re Sick, Stay at Home

You may be tempted to come to work when you’re feeling unwell but if there’s a possibility your sickness is contagious, stay at home so your co-workers don’t catch the bug.

Help Keep Office Coughs and Colds at Bay: Cover Your Mouth when You Sneeze

If you have a cough and cold at work, try and help prevent the spread of germs in the office by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Have Hand Sanitizer Available

Hand sanitizer is an effective way to prevent germs from spreading. If you have a cold, wipe hand sanitizer on phones, computer keyboards and other shared areas to help prevent the spread of germs.

Don’t Leave Tissues Lying Around

It might sound obvious, but leaving used tissues lying around the office is like giving colleagues an open invitation to your germs. Put tissues in the bin.

Listen to the Ideas and Opinions of Others

Part of respecting fellow team members is to listen to the ideas and opinions of everybody in the office.

Be Tolerant of Others’ Opinions

You might not like their ideas and they might not like yours, but try to be tolerant of other’s opinions and respecting the prospect that they might not agree with everything you say.

Avoid Gossiping About Others

Gossip can cripple the atmosphere and culture in an office and should be avoided at all costs.

Concentrate on the Positives of Your Own Job

Feeling dejected, bored or frustrated about your own job can rub off on your colleagues. Try to focus on the positive things about your job to remain upbeat throughout the working day.

Set up Regular Team Meetings Where Everyone Is Involved

Holding regular team meetings to encourage the sharing of ideas and the raising of any questions or concerns. Encourage everyone to be involved in the meeting.

Don’t Be Late to Meetings

Never keep the meeting host waiting by showing up late to a meeting.

Show Attentiveness in Meetings

When attending meetings, demonstrate attentiveness and alertness by responding to questions and putting forward ideas rather than texting on your phone or playing with your hair!

Set Company Goals

Goals and targets shouldn’t be confined to sales teams. Setting realistic but at the same time challenging goals in the office, will give employees something to work towards and focus on.

Introduce Office Incentives and Rewards

Whether it’s dress down day on a Friday or a finish early day, introducing incentives and rewards can go a long way in transforming the culture of a company into a more positive one.

Encourage Healthy Office Banter

Banter in the office can make a working day more fun. Just ensure office banter doesn’t turn into ridicule or scorn.

Be Mindful of Office Furniture

Slouching at your desk with your feet rest on a chair opposite will mean you are not presenting yourself in the most professional of lights. Sit up straight and be mindful of office furniture.

Be Responsible for Your Tasks

If you agree to take on a task, endeavor to do your best to follow the task through and complete it on time.

Be a Good Communicator With Fellow Employees

Keep colleagues informed about tasks and ideas by communicating with them regularly and efficiently.

Dwell on Co-Workers’ Positive Qualities, Not the Negatives

We all have positive and negative sides to our characters. To generate an upbeat working culture, concentrate on the positive side of workers’ personalities, instead of the negative.

Avoid Being the First One Out the Door at the End of the Day

Rushing out the door as soon as soon as it turns six o’clock can paint you in a negative light to fellow workers. Staying a few minutes past company closing won’t do you any harm and will go a long way in showing diligence towards your job.

Office etiquette is an important part of company culture. Observing and following the above office etiquette tips will not only help create a positive and efficient working culture but it will also help you earn a good reputation at work, which could lead to bigger things.

Office Rudeness Photo via Shutterstock

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead


Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read Gabrielle’s blog here.

2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Some of these are already obvious and should be practiced so that your office mates will be able to work in peace.

  2. Good job Gabrielle, thanks for the useful information and keep up the good work.

    Going to your job is part of life. Whenever you are in the office your behavior should be professional. Proper office etiquette, while obvious in a lot of ways, is necessary for success.

    I really enjoyed the post and think without the given office etiquettes no organization can be well-managed.