Etiquette makes life more pleasant, prevents blunders and ensures that you look good. Also at work. This is not about outdated rules about how to place your fork on your cake plate during a reception, but about good manners. Brush up on your etiquette knowledge with these golden rules. Your career can only benefit from it. Also the contacts with colleagues.
Etiquette rule 1: dress for success
Research has shown that hiring managers and potential employers prefer to hire people who dress as the corporate culture (tacitly or overtly) dictates. The impression you make when you have had that job for a long time is just as much determined by your appearance. When in doubt, something dressier is always better than something more casual. Be careful with appearing overdressed: always wearing a much more expensive suit than your boss is not necessarily an advantage for relations… Don’t let what colleagues do or wear be your example. On the contrary. Sometimes people around you set nothing but a bad example – which is mainly a sign that you can be the positive exception.
Etiquette Rule 2: Pay attention to body odor
Body odors? Potential jammers! And we’re not even just talking about a pungent sweat odor. Especially if you have been using your favorite perfume or aftershave for a long time, you get used to it. You no longer smell the scent as strongly as outsiders. That’s why you sometimes almost faint on a crowded morning bus because of the wave of smell that arises when an unsuspecting fellow human being steps onto the bus. All the worse, of course, if you work together eight hours a day! When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask a good colleague if this has ever happened to you. And then just that body odor. Deodorant is a must that should actually go without saying, but that is not always the case. Finally, another problem, mouth odor. A bit of chewing gum after a lunch that included plenty of garlic and onion never hurts. And anyone who knows that he or she does not have fresh breath can, if necessary, use a chewing toothbrush in between.
Etiquette rule 3: this is how you ‘do’ parties and receptions
Golden rule number one for parties and receptions at the office: watch your alcohol intake. Even if your boss and/or colleagues are openly getting tipsy. Not only do you avoid being looked like a fool, you also avoid another insidious phenomenon. Whether or not under the influence of alcohol, you and colleagues can encourage each other in confidential behavior. It’s possible, he/she does it too… Before you know it you are spreading very sensitive gossip. And oh yes, that should be possible… you really won’t think about it the next morning. Leave it to others to wake up with one or more such hangovers, or better yet: bring that colleague who is in danger of reaching his or her limit a glass of spa red for thirst and hope that the hint gets through. Whether it concerns alcohol, flirting or clothing, two important rules of thumb for parties and receptions at – or on behalf of – your company are: 1. when in doubt, don’t do it, and 2. less is more. So if you’re a natural flirt, no matter how innocent, hold back on these occasions. A misunderstanding is easily created. If you like to wear something sexy or outspoken, the same rule applies. Especially if you don’t yet know what is customary.
Small gestures that immediately make life at the office more beautiful
Keep a door open * turn down the ringtone on your mobile phone and still pay attention to your voice volume in the enthusiasm of a nice telephone conversation * limit private conversations in the office anyway, especially if your colleagues are dying at work * Treat your neighbor or neighbor at work, don’t pay attention to the persistent sight of three-week-old coffee cups on your desk * In any case, pay attention to the condition of your desk – it’s your calling card * Would rather say hello without getting an answer than be like a silent caveman from a department walking to the department * Don’t just let others do the rounds of getting coffee * And say a sincere thank you when your colleague makes one of these small gestures *
Etiquette rule number 4: love is in the air?
It’s an established fact that office romances are a fact of life. Also nice somehow. Love cannot (always) be forced. So although not doing it is actually the best advice, it is simply not always a feasible option to hold off on romance. However, you have to realize a few things. Where love entanglements arise between a superior and a subordinate, there is often someone who sooner or later loses her or his job or resigns. Usually it is the one with the lowest rank! It is also an absolute no-no to show your love during work, to fight or talk out arguments, or to take colleagues into your intimate confidence. Keep the romance out of your workplace as much as possible. If only for self-protection: bosses do not always regard employees who are romantically entangled with the same high regard, colleagues do not meddle in your affairs just out of friendly interest, and when a break-up occurs, life is painful enough without the knowledge that your colleagues are enjoying it.
Do not shout or write in capital letters. Also, don’t give every message a red flag to indicate high priority. Don’t bother people with one-line emails, rambling emails or other annoyances, but give them a clear and complete answer. Also to do yourself a favor. Bad or unanswered emails are like flies: you can’t get rid of them.
Etiquette rule number 5: the gossip machine
As previously mentioned in the office party rules, gossiping is tempting but dangerous. Before you let yourself be tempted into joining in on some juicy office gossip that will brighten up the workday, it’s best to ask yourself: How would you feel if the object of your attention found out what was said? Remember carefully that you don’t want to hurt anyone. Not for the other person, but also to preserve your own precious reputation. Know that you would certainly not be the first to burn your fingers career-wise over a gossip that seemed quite innocent.
Etiquette survival kit
There are plenty of people who have an ‘etiquette survival kit’ in their desk drawer. Think of:
- A deodorant for stressful conversations or overheated days at the office
- Pantyhose, so that an unexpected ladder doesn’t damage your well-groomed image for eight hours
- Peppermint or refreshing mouth spray, in case a customer drops by unplanned or if you ate a little too much onion and garlic for lunch
- Needle and thread to make emergency repairs to a suit or skirt