Office Etiquette and Other Workplace Essentials

September 24, 2007

Picture it – you’ve submitted your resume, wowed them at the interview, and landed the perfect job. Now what? Understanding office etiquette is one of the first steps toward success in the workplace – whether you’re working part-time at the College or enjoying your dream career after graduation.


So, what is office etiquette? Office etiquette addresses practices and behaviors that are acceptable in a professional setting. Here are some basics:

  • Arrive on time
    • Call if you’re going to be late or can’t come in
  • Remember that office resources are not for your personal use
  • Don’t work on homework without your supervisor’s approval
  • No personal calls
    • If you do receive a call, keep it brief
  • No surfing the Internet, text-messaging, emailing, or instant messaging
  • Leave no trace
    • If you mess it up, clean it up
    • If you use the last of something, replace it or let someone know who can
  • Follow the workplace dress code
  • Be enthusiastic and Friendly–your attitude influences your speech and mannerisms
  • Avoid slang and NEVER use foul or offensive language in the workplace
  • Make and effort to establish positive, professional relationships with your co-workers
    • A professional relationship is one that fosters a positive and productive work environment

Establishing positive, professional relationships with your co-workers is extremely important.

  • Do your job
    • Let your co-workers know they can count on you
  • Being considerate and thoughtful
    • Think how your behavior may affect others
  • Respecting other’s differences
    • You will meet people with different opinion, experiences, and perspectives
  • Keeping your supervisor informed
    • Your supervisor should hear news and updates from YOU, not the office grapevine
  • Avoiding conflict and gossip
    • Be social, but don’t engage in non-productive conflict or gossip
  • Staying out of office politics
    • Don’t form alliances or cliques and DON’T take sides
  • Being positive–no one likes a complainer

Finally, you’re going to make mistakes and recieve occasional criticism–everyone does! Just remember:

  • Be accountable
  • Apologize, but don’t make excuses
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Avoid careless errors
  • Don’t beat yourself up–we all make mistakes!

If you receive criticism, listen to make sure you understand what the person is saying, stay calm, and seek privacy. Being criticized in front of others is not acceptable! If you find yourself in this situation, calmly ask the person to continue the conversation elsewhere.

For more information on office etiquette and other workplace essentials, visit this link at the Career Center’s website: Click on Workplace Essentials – Your Blueprint for Success! Your success starts with you!

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