When you work in a shared workspace, you are around people from various walks of life. Each person comes from a different background with different sets of beliefs, opinions and temperaments. Workplace etiquette is the conduct code that governs how colleagues should interact with each other. It ensures that the workplace is a conducive environment to work in and that everyone maintains a certain level of professionalism when interacting with each other. Read on to find out some basic work etiquette tips to make your workplace experience more enjoyable.


When you’re working in an office with your colleagues, be sure to respect their boundaries. It is okay to be friendly, however do not take it too far. Keep it professional and try not to mix your personal relationships with your work relationships. Avoid oversharing various details of your personal life even if you are friendly with your co-workers. At the end of the day the main reason you’re there is to work.


When it comes to your dressing, it is important to be self-aware of the appropriate attire for your particular profession. Always ensure that you are smartly dressed, your clothes are clean and you maintain good hygiene practices. Try not to push the boundaries as this will rub off the wrong way on the rest of your colleagues and may even make them uncomfortable.


Punctuality is important etiquette to consider in the workplace. Showing up on time shows that you value and respect your colleague’s time. Remember that everyone has deadlines and projects that they are trying to meet so showing up on time is a basic courtesy. Sometimes we run into unavoidable circumstances that delay us. It is therefore important to let people know when you are running late as well. In addition, when conducting meetings, begin and end on time. This can be achieved by having an agenda and sticking to it.


The rules of workplace professionalism don’t go out the window when you leave the office space. Remember that what you do or say outside the office can sometimes impact your career. In this regard, avoid engaging in office gossip or even posting inappropriate material on social media as these will reflect negatively on you both personally and professionally.  


It is important to be mindful of your co-workers when in a shared workspace. Keep your desk and surroundings clean at all times. Throw away any trash and clean up after yourself. Avoid using overly fragrant colognes, lotions and pungent foods as well.


Health is a key factor when it comes to maintaining office productivity. If you are unwell and contagious, it is important to ensure the health and well-being of your colleagues by staying away from the workplace until you have recovered. Also keep in mind the burden paced on the workplace when more and more of your colleagues are unable to show up to work because one person didn’t stay home when they should have.


As a general rule, be kind and respectful to your colleagues. Use respectful language when speaking to others and make an effort to be cordial and polite. At the end of the day, no one wants to work with a person that is rude and grouchy. And if you don’t receive the same courtesy from your colleagues, consider talking to your HR manager.

Office culture often varies depending on the environment. However, these etiquette tips apply across the board. Apply then in your workplace to achieve higher levels of professionalism and to make the overall atmosphere more agreeable.

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