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Introduction to Business Etiquette

by Kristin Swain, studioD

Observing business etiquette rules in the workplace is just good manners, and it can have a large impact on your career. Observing proper business etiquette helps to put your best foot forward with your co-workers, clients and boss. These adjustments to your daily work life assist you in building a solid reputation as a good employee and help you establish a positive workplace attitude.

Personal Appearance

Dress appropriately for your position. Leave the ripped jeans and concert T-shirts at home for the weekend. You should adhere to your company's dress code at all times. Make sure you maintain a fresh, clean appearance. Keep your work clothes neat, clean and pressed. Make sure to promptly replace any worn or stained items in your wardrobe. Your hair should be a natural color and your makeup neutral. Avoid wearing strong cologne or perfume that may be offensive to others. Maintain good posture and eye contact when speaking.

Project the Right Attitude

Having a good attitude at work helps set you apart from your co-workers. Maintaining a positive demeanor helps make you more desirable as an employee. Bosses want people working for them who have a good attitude, show enthusiasm for their work and remain productive on the job. Abstain from office gossip and surround yourself with co-workers who are positive and good team players. Leave your personal problems and negativity at home. Also make sure you are regularly on time for work or arrive a few minutes early. When attending meetings, do not plan to arrive more than five minutes early, as it might be disruptive to your host.

Verbal Communication

How you speak in the workplace is a very important part of good business etiquette. You should be diplomatic in your office discussions. Listen to the ideas and concerns of others before offering a thoughtful reply. Always strive to find a solution to a problem rather than waiting on someone else to come up with it. Make sure to address everyone by name and pronounce the names correctly. Introduce yourself using your full name, stand when greeting people and offer a firm handshake. Speak clearly and concisely while maintaining a conversational but formal tone. Remember to be polite and gracious but authoritative when necessary.

Nonverbal Communication

In the workplace, what you don't say out loud can be just as important as what you do. Pay attention to your body language. Make sure you keep your body open, relaxed and friendly. Try to not display strain, stress, or frustration with your work or co-workers. Attempt to maintain a positive or neutral expression. Also note how your tone comes across in emails and other correspondence. Do not send demanding or multiple emails on the weekend to co-workers. If you must email co-workers on weekends or holidays, expect that it may take up to a day to receive a response. Do not share confidential information or speak negatively about a project or co-workers in correspondence. Keep all of your work correspondence limited to work-related subjects.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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