Though the practice of good manners has diminished with the rise of technology, a polite demeanor is still appreciated in social and business situations. Etiquette is still one of the most important acts in our society, especially in the workplace.  Being polite and having good manners, especially among people who effectively have become your “second family”, sets the tone for work relationships, productivity and innovation.  Office etiquette must be observed all of the time so that the productivity in the workplace will never be affected.  The term “office etiquette” may bring up images of formality, but integrating proper manners around the office or in your cubicle is actually very simple.

In an open office environment, here are some special considerations to keep in mind:


  • Be friendly and professional when guests come into the office.
  • Mind those P’s and Q’s by saying please and thank you.
  • Be punctual, it shows that you respect other’s time.
  • Dress appropriately
  • Always respect one’s privacy.
  • Take your personal calls outside or in a private room. No one wants to hear and should not hear your personal business.
  • Put your cell phone on vibrate or silent. You may love a certain ring tone, but it doesn’t mean your coworkers will too.


  • Don’t yell across the room. Kindly get up from your desk and walk over to your colleague’s desk, call or email them.
  • Limit interruptions of other employees. Don’t barge into others’ workspace.
  • Do not hold private meetings in public spaces. Shared spaces are for everyone.  Other people are trying to concentrate and focus on work.

It is important to create a positive and enjoyable workplace environment for happy employees. Someone in your office may not realize that they are committing one of these no-no’s regarding office etiquette, so work together to ensure all employees have a safe and happy work environment.

Topics of conversation:

As I am sure you already know, politics, religion and sex are inappropriate office topics. But there are some other key ones worth mentioning as well.  When discussing your family, marriage, kids and other personal aspects of your life, ask yourself if your co-workers would agree.  It is important not to over indulge or cross the line.

There are three simple rules, be friendly, be considerate and be respectful. Always practice proper office etiquette and stay focus to the manners that will help you stay efficient and professional.

Angie Mercanti, CRIS

Posted in: community

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