Office Etiquette

For you to connect with customers/clients, work effectively with co-workers, and ultimately
succeed in your job, it is essential to stay up-to-date on etiquette in the workplace.
This can help you creating successful relationships and making lasting positive impressions.

10 Etiquette Tips

  1. Complete projects and return phone calls, voice mail, or email in a timely manner.
  2. Show up prepared and on-time to meetings.
  3. Visit and converse with co-workers, but keep in mind their work demands.
  4. Be concise when sending emails; consider in person or phone/video calls for longer
  5. If you use the last of any item, make sure you refill it (printer paper, paper towels,
  6. Clean the office kitchen after use.
  7. Dress for the job you want to have; model the leaders in your office.
  8. Thank colleagues for their accomplishments, time, and help.
  9. Smile and look interested in others with eye contact and by listening.
  10. Offer to help others in your office.


  • Speak well of others and avoid office gossip.
  • Use more formal language, avoiding slang, and avoid foul language or sarcasm.
  • Explain acronyms and jargon.
  • Be aware of who is around when discussing sensitive topics; avoid having these conversations in elevators, hallways, restaurants, etc.
  • Use powerful words; power robbers to avoid are phrases like, “I hope,” “I guess,”
    “maybe” and “probably” which undermine your credibility.


  • Cell phones: Never take/make calls or check texts during meetings or when having a face-to-face
    conversation with someone at work. If it’s an emergency phone call, however, you may
    say, “Excuse me, but I need to take this call,” and step out of the room to hold your
    conversation in private. Don’t hold private conversations at work unless you are on
    your break, and do so in a private area.
  • Email: Always proofread emails before sending, keep the length short, and use a subject
    line. Be careful about clicking on “Reply” or “Reply to All”—make sure you know to
    who you are responding to in the email. Also, if you’ll be out of the office for a
    few days, set up an auto response stating this, and include the date you will return
    and respond to your emails. 
  • Telephone: Always answer the phone in a positive tone of voice, introducing yourself and the
    organization you’re representing. If you’re recording a message or information, double-check
    spelling of name, dates, and times by repeating this information to the caller.
  • Conference calls/speaker phone: When conducting a conference call including several people, introduce everyone present
    to the person you are calling.
  • Voicemail: When leaving someone a message, say your name and reason for calling clearly. On your
    office phone voicemail, if you’ll be out of the office for a few days, change your
    message to reflect this. Don’t forget to update it when you return. Also, make sure
    your personal voicemail (for example, on your cell phone) is professional as well.