By Bond Collective Staff
Contrary to what you may have heard, office etiquette does matter. The way you and your team present yourselves and interact with each other and with clients directly affects the success of your business. Yes, it’s that important.
But what constitutes proper behavior in a work setting these days? In this article, we discuss essential office etiquette for businesses of all sizes and employees of all ages.
Office Etiquette For The 21st Century
1) Dress Appropriately For The Office
Every office is different and will have its own unique dress code. Some will require more formal attire, while others allow more casual options.
Even if your business falls into the latter category, it’s best to leave the sweatpants, flip-flops, and t-shirts at home. Dressing too casual is detrimental to the productivity of your team and can send the wrong message to customers and clients.
2) Keep Noise To A Minimum
A big part of professional office etiquette is keeping unnecessary noise to a minimum whenever possible.
Certain activities — talking on the phone with clients, helping a customer, or discussing project details with a nearby co-worker — are acceptable at low volumes, but if the conversation gets too loud, move to a conference room so you don’t disturb those around you who are trying to focus.
3) Use Professional Language
When it comes to office etiquette, professional language is a must. Swear words and potentially offensive slang are becoming all too common these days — even in the workplace.
This can cause conflict between team members and create a less-than-desirable impression with customers and clients who interact with your employees.
4) Be Punctual
As a general rule of office etiquette, being punctual means arriving a few minutes early. This typically applies to the start of the workday, but also extends to team meetings and client appointments.
Think about the image you convey to those around you when you walk in just as the meeting is about to start. In some cases, co-workers and clients alike could take offense because you didn’t have the courtesy to be in your seat before the meeting was supposed to start.
5) Understand How To Use Email Correctly
The bulk of business communication these days is conducted via email. Because of that, it’s more important than ever that everyone on the team understands how to use the technology correctly.
If you’re not familiar with some of the deeper controls, ask someone who is. In particular, make sure you know the difference between Reply and Reply All and when you should and shouldn’t use the latter.
Similarly, get comfortable with the CC and BCC features when sending messages so you can avoid being the cause of an out-of-control email chain or sharing private details or opinions with the whole team.
6) Wearing A Mask Is A Personal Choice
At the most basic, recent world events highlight the importance of taking steps to avoid the spread of germs in the workplace.
Whether we like it or not, appropriate office etiquette now demands that we accept the fact that, when not mandatory, wearing a mask while at work is a personal choice — much like the choice between coffee and tea.
While one may not choose to wear a mask personally, they can’t begrudge someone who does. Maybe they have a weakened immune system. Or, maybe they live with someone who is more prone to illness, and they don’t want to take anything home.
At the very least, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the flu and the common cold. So, if one of your team members chooses to wear a mask while at work, treat it like the personal decision that it is.
7) Reply To Communications Promptly
Interoffice communication between team members usually revolves around collaboration, solving problems, and dealing with work issues.
Responding to these messages promptly, then, becomes essential for the smooth operation of the business.
If you let your emails, phone messages, texts, and IMs go unanswered for a few days, you could be preventing a co-worker from making progress on their project.
8) Create A Proper Personal Email Address
This may seem inconsequential to the smooth operation of your team and your business, but it actually goes a long way toward maintaining professional office etiquette.
There are any number of reasons why you might not be able to access your business email and have to respond from your personal account. What impression are you making if your team members, your superiors, or your clients receive a message from “studmuffin69” or “ilikedinos?”
Create a proper personal email address — something like firstname.lastname — and avoid the problem altogether.
9) Take Personal Conversations Someplace Private
It’s inevitable that you’ll need to have a personal conversation while at work once in a while.
When that happens — whether it’s face-to-face with a co-worker or on the phone with a family member — take the conversation someplace private.
A conference room, vacant office, phone booth, or anywhere you can close the door for a little privacy are ideal options. Removing the conversation from the public spaces will help keep the topic and the private details where they belong: between the individuals involved.
10) Pay Attention To Personal Hygiene
Much like proper attire, personal hygiene is a big part of good office etiquette. As a general rule, hygiene involves everything that others can see, hear, and smell.
That means team members need to wear clean clothes, comb or brush their hair, and be aware of how much perfume or cologne they’re applying in the morning.
All of these variables — and others — can contribute to workplace wellbeing and have an effect on the productivity and focus of the team as a whole.
Office Etiquette And Where You Work
Office Etiquette is, first and foremost, about people. It’s about creating a safe work environment that is conducive to creativity, focus, and hard work. It’s about creating a space where customers, clients, visitors, and new hires feel welcome, valued, and part of the family.
So, while etiquette is an important part of creating the best office possible, another variable is equally — if not more — important. That variable is the space itself.
Where you base your team, and what you give them to work with, is crucial to the success of your business.
Your team needs inspiration to do their best work, they need the best tools at hand, and they need comfort, flexibility, and community.
Without these variables, employee performance suffers, business success decreases, and your professional image and company culture fall apart.
How can you provide all of these essentials that a good workspace brings without burning through your hard-earned capital or locking yourself into a restrictive and expensive long-term lease? By basing your team in a coworking space, like Bond Collective.
Bond Collective offers thoughtfully curated boutique work environments that provide an unmatched experience for startups, small businesses, and large corporations alike.
We know inspiration doesn’t come easy. When your team does experience a moment of creativity, you want to prolong it as much as possible.
Bond Collective decorates, arranges, and operates each one of its many locations with inspiration, creativity, and innovation in mind.
Bright colors, natural light, stimulating textures, and plenty of space for your body and your mind to move around — these are the unique ways in which Bond Collective brings inspiration into the work environment.
Another crucial aspect of strong company culture is having the right tools. That’s why Bond Collective offers:
Fast, reliable WiFi and Ethernet connections
Unlimited black-and-white printing
Mail and package handling
Private meeting and phone booths
Guest reception and greeting
Daily porter service
Nightly office cleaning
When you and your team don’t have to think about these features — because they’re just there whenever you need them — you can focus all of your efforts on getting the job done, pleasing the customer, and improving the way your business operates.
And don’t forget about comfort and flexibility. Bond Collective offers those as well.
All our office spaces are furnished with the highest quality of comfort and design. Many areas within Bond Collective allow for easy reconfiguration to accommodate an impromptu brainstorming session or emergency meeting — that’s flexibility in a nutshell.
Or, if privacy is paramount, take advantage of private phone booths, exclusive workspaces, and reserved conference rooms for two to 20 or more.
At Bond Collective, you’ll work side by side with other like-minded professionals and experience the connections, stimulation, innovation, and a whole host of other intangibles that your team can’t get from working in isolation.
So, take advantage of all that Bond Collective has to offer to help you improve your office etiquette, your team, and your business as a whole.
Visit any one of our many locations in the United States, including workspaces in NYC, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Austin. Or call us today to find out more.
And while you’re at it, schedule a tour to experience first-hand how the boutique work environments at Bond Collective can benefit your business.