July 3, 2019
When it comes to navigating the workplace, professional etiquette is crucial. The image that you portray–particularly your first impression–is one you will carry throughout the duration of your employment at an organization. This perception that you cultivate with your looks and demeanor, as well as how you choose to represent your workplace during off hours, can serve to either hurt or help your career.
Here are some helpful tips for maintaining proper workplace etiquette:
- Dress appropriately. Most workplaces have dress codes written into their codes of conduct. Be sure to review your employee handbook and follow up with your supervisor so you are clear about your expected attire. Keep in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- Be professional. It is good to be friendly with your coworkers but be certain that you remember that your job is not the place to catch up on weekend gossip. Also be mindful of who can hear your conversation so as not to disrespect anyone else.
- Be respectful. Help to cultivate a positive work environment by not talking loudly, being nice and friendly, and even remaining mindful of what you are microwaving in the lunchroom.
- Be on time. Tardiness to work is a nonstarter. Being late to the office or showing up late to meetings can throw off your team dynamic and cause those around you to lose confidence in your abilities. Arrive on time or show accountability by letting your coworkers know when you are running late.
- Ask questions. Speak up when you’re confused and always strive to expand your curiosity. Asking questions can only help you grow and expand upon what you don’t know, already know, or want to learn more about.
- Be friendly. Even when you disagree, remember that you are part of a team working towards a common goal. Learn to appreciate your differences of opinions and your team will function together a lot more smoothly.
- Be open. Explore as many opportunities as you can handle; make the most out of your time at an organization.
- Be conscientious. Understand that you are always representing yourself and your organization with whatever decisions you make.
There are many ways to ensure a positive and productive work environment, particularly by maintaining proper workplace etiquette.
Julia Emilie Jeanty and Chinonso Uzowihe, Talent Pool Interns, American Geophysical Union.