CORPORATE ETIQUETTE

Corporate etiquette is the set of rules to be followed when in a corporate/business setting. This is done in order to maintain a pleasant work environment, by being courteous to co-workers, respecting them and valuing their time. Humans are social beings and etiquette is the one thing that separates us from the other organisms. It also helps us stand out in the crowd. Being serious, sensible and aware of one’s surroundings is very important.

Do’s and Don’ts in Different Instances

Etiquette With Co-workers

Do’s

  • Always maintain a one arm distance when interacting with an acquaintance to avoid invading the other person’s personal space
  • Make sure you introduce everyone to each other and their roles before starting a discussion
  • Share some of your details before inquiring about someone else’s personal details.
  • Keep your voice low but audible at all times

Don’ts

  • Do not touch people.
  • Do not ask personal questions
  • Don’t mock your colleagues
  • Don’t use a high pitch to talk
  • Do not interrupt others

Meeting Etiquette

Do’s

  • Listen to the speaker carefully
  • If you have any thoughts to share, do it at the end of the meeting or seek permission to put up your thoughts
  • Read about the agenda/subject before the meeting
  • Carry a pen and a notepad to the meeting
  • Be attentive
  • Dress appropriately
  • Be polite when asking questions
  • Keep your phone on silent mode

Don’ts

  • Do not fiddle with your gadgets during a meeting or a presentation
  • Don’t distract the presenter as that breaks the flow
  • Do not argue and make the meeting room a battlefield
  • Do not interrupt the speaker
  • Do not chew gum
  • Do not just barge in, once the meeting has begun

Business/Visiting Cards Etiquette

Do’s

  • Ensure that all the information on the business cards is accurate
  • Carry your visiting cards at all times
  • Exchange your business cards either at the beginning or at the end of the meeting

Don’ts

  • Do not choose stylish fonts
  • Do not fold the business cards
  • Never exchange your visiting cards with the left hand

Language Etiquette

Do’s

  • Use humour to lighten a situation
  • Use the golden words ‘Please’, ‘Excuse Me’, ‘Sorry’, and ‘Thank You’.

Don’ts

  • Do not use foul language or pass lewd comments

Personal Etiquette

Do’s

  • Check body odour at all times
  • Take a bath every day and wear clean clothes
  • Wear a fresh pair of socks every day
  • Keep a check on your breath
  • Keep deodorant and mouth freshener handy

Don’ts

  • Don’t sneeze or cough without covering your mouth
  • Never drink while at work

Etiquette at the Cafeteria/ During Lunch

Do’s

  • When you are done eating, vacate your place to give way, in case there are people waiting
  • Ask for permission before seating yourself at a table where others are already seated
  • Maintain hygiene and use available cutlery
  • Clean the table, in case you spill your food
  • Avoid bringing smelly foods to work
  • Share your food with your colleagues

Don’ts

  • Do not indulge in gossip
  • Do not break the queue
  • Do not chew loudly
  • Never discuss work at the lunch table
  • Do not start eating until everyone on the able has received their food
  • Do not eat with your hands in public
  • Avoid making noises while eating
  • Do not burp at the table, so, eat slowly.
  • Do not get up from the table until everyone has finished eating.
  • Don’t put your fingers in your mouth and do not pick your nose

Dressing Etiquette

For Men

Do’s

  • Follow office dress code
  • Avoid loud shirts and T-shirts with offensive language printed on them
  • Co-ordinate the colour of your belt and shoes
  • Use closed formal shoes/ smart casual shoes
  • Shoes should be cleaned and polished well
  • Use a mild deodorant/perfume
  • Keep your beard/goatee/moustache trimmed at all times

Don’ts

  • Avoid sandals/slippers
  • Don’t wear multi-coloured socks

For Women

Do’s

  • Follow the office dress code
  • Keep accessories to a minimum
  • Wear well-fitted and comfortable clothing
  • Use pastel shades for nail colour
  • Make sure your hair is well set at all times

Don’ts

  • Don’t wear revealing clothes
  • Don’t wear party wear to work
  • Do not wear loud makeup
  • Don’t wear stilettoes or uncomfortable footwear

Cubicle/ Desk Etiquette

Do’s

  • Keep your cubicle/desk neat and clean
  • Maintain a calendar
  • Always have a pen and a notepad handy
  • Switch off the lights and fans while exiting the cubicle
  • Remove post-its before leaving
  • Always seek permission before entering a colleague’s cubicle
  • Keep your voice low

Don’ts

  • Do not use too many decorations
  • Do not eat at your work station
  • Do not stack files and documents
  • Never peep into a colleague’s cubicle
  • Do not use office phones for personal use
  • Do not leave important documents open
  • Do not take unnecessary printouts

Internet Etiquette

Do’s

  • Choose the right language when giving feedback on an online forum
  • Go through the FAQs of a site before posting a query
  • Check spelling and Grammar for whatever you post on the internet

Don’ts

  • Do not make fun of people on social networking sites
  • Do not be sarcastic while commenting on a social networking site

Door & Elevator Etiquette

Do’s

  • Hold the door open, if a colleague is right behind you
  • If anyone hold the door open for you, thank him/her
  • Wait for the people to step out of the elevator before stepping in
  • If you enter an empty elevator, move to the back
  • Face forward when you stand in an elevator
  • When you have to step out, say ‘Excuse Me’ and exit quickly

Don’ts

  • Do not engage in a conversation in the elevator
  • Do not be curious about others and stare at them

E-mail Etiquette

Do’s

  • Respond to e-mails on time
  • Use a proper greeting and a complimentary close in your mails
  • Make sure the mail is crisp
  • Check spellings and Grammar before sending a mail
  • Send individual mails, rather than to an entire group

Don’ts

  • Do not read anyone else’s mail
  • Do not respond to a mail, when angry
  • Do not spam others’ e-mail IDs

Phone Etiquette

Do’s

  • Identify yourself to the caller at the beginning of the call
  • Answer the call within 2 rings, with a smile
  • Help the caller by providing correct information or transferring the call to the correct person/department
  • Be courteous and respectful to the caller
  • Use considerate phrases
  • Be as helpful as you can
  • Ask the purpose of the call and give due importance
  • Take permission before placing the call on hold

Don’ts

  • Don’t bluff
  • Don’t speak negatively
  • Don’t sound weary
  • Don’t be impatient and rude
  • Don’t leave the caller on hold for long
  • Don’t talk with your mouth full
  • Don’t talk to someone else while on a call
  • Don’t forget to end the call properly

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