Poor office etiquette hinders effectiveness.   For example, Bill wanted to make the right impression when he was hired as a temporary employee but didn’t.  He scheduled multiple back to back meetings but was always late for these meetings.  As he took on many projects, he was also constantly on his phone during these meetings.

Behavior in the workplace is an important factor that can determine success at work! Whether you are a temporary employee or a regular full time employee, it is a great idea to brush up on office etiquette. Successful employees are able to make better connections at work, because they are team players and are more creative and productive.

Rudeness is unhealthy!

Rudeness or impolite behavior can not only make a bad impression on your superiors and co-workers but can also affect health as studies show! A University of Calgary’s study showed that inconsiderate behavior like walking by a co-worker without a greeting or “talking down” to an employee could affect their mental and physical health.

As a temporary employee, if you are trying to get hired into a permanent position, lack of etiquette can hamper your chances.

Tips on office etiquette

Here are some important tips on office etiquette that can bring you success at work!


Be on Time
  • Punctuality is the key that defines your success at work. Always be on time for work and meetings. Don’t keep any of your co-workers or superiors waiting.
  • If you have scheduled the meeting, have a clear agenda and finish it on time so everybody can attend to other work.
  • If you are sick, stay at home to avoid passing on the illness. It is not considered appropriate to come to work when you are sick. However, you should follow applicable attendance policies and notify your supervisor.
Respect others
  • Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate mode to avoid disturbing others at work or at meetings. Avoid personal calls during work time.
  • On business calls, control the volume of your voice when you are talking on the phone to avoid disturbing others.
  • When participating in important discussions or meetings, don’t interrupt others. Let them finish speaking before you make your point. Raising your voice to be heard is impolite.
  • Focus on the interactions at training sessions, meetings or discussions. Avoid talking on the phone or checking messages and emails.
  • If you work in a cubicle or open office area, be conscious of your co-workers. Speaker phones and group discussions in your cubicle can distract your neighbors. If necessary, hold meetings or important talks in the designated conference rooms.
  • Avoid bringing smelly or pungent food to work and whenever possible eat in the cafeteria, break room or other designated area.
  • Avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne at work.
  • Dress appropriately. Avoid revealing clothes or crumpled up shirts!
  • Respect office property and equipment, shared spaces, communal kitchens, microwave or the refrigerator.
  • Always greet your co-workers with a polite smile
  • Follow office protocols when talking to customers on the phone or in person. Be polite, friendly (but not too personal) and always professional. Don’t be too chatty. Focus on customer service and satisfaction.  Only answer questions that when you are sure of the answer.  Otherwise get the appropriate information and get back to the person