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Have You Considered Your Workplace Etiquette?

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Is there a lack of workplace etiquette at your company? Human resources expert Kristen Shingleton Deutsch explains the value of the little things in helping companies run smoother.

It’s a new year and an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Most of us have made various personal New Year’s resolutions throughout the years, maybe to be healthier and exercise more or to spend more time with family; however, have you considered making a work-related resolution? It is common for us to be critical of others behavior in the workplace. But how often do we think about our own behavior and how it may affect others?

Etiquette in Business

© Flickr user tamuc

If you think about it, we spend more hours at work than we do at home. It makes sense to try and be as accommodating as possible in order to make the workday go smoothly. Here is a list of workplace etiquette items to reflect upon; you may end up resolving to change some behaviors of your own.

  • Return copy machine and printer settings to their default settings after changing them.
  • Replace paper in the copy machine and printer paper trays when they are empty.
  • Retrieve print jobs in a timely manner and be sure to collect all of your pages.
  • Be prompt when using the manual feed on the printer.
  • Keep the area around the copy machine and printers orderly and picked up.
  • Avoid public accusations or criticisms of other employees. Address such issues privately with those involved or your supervisor.
  • Try to minimize unscheduled interruptions of other employees while they are working.
  • Communicate by email or phone whenever possible, instead of walking unexpectedly into someone’s office or workspace.
  • Be conscious of how your voice travels, and try to lower the volume or your voice when talking on the phone or to others in open areas.
  • Keep socializing to a minimum, and try to conduct conversations in areas where the noise will not be distracting to others.
  • Minimize talking between workspaces or over cubicle walls. Instead, conduct conversations with others in their workspace.
  • Try not to block walkways while carrying on conversations. Refrain from using inappropriate language (swearing) that others may overhear.
  • Avoid discussions of your personal life/issues in public conversations that can be easily overheard.
  • Monitor the volume when listening to music, voice mail, or a speakerphone that others can hear.
  • Clean up after yourself and do not leave behind waste or discarded papers.

If your company handbook has a workplace etiquette policy, you may consider sending out an all personnel email reminder of this protocol, as it may have been a while since some employees have read it. If you do not have such a policy, may we suggest an overhaul to your company handbook? We can help!

Kristen Shingleton Deutsch Guest BloggerFor additional information on company handbook advice, please contact New Focus HR.

Kristen Shingleton Deutsch has over 25 years of management and human resources experience. She received her B.S. from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has continued her excellence in the HR profession by attaining her certification as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) through the WorldatWork Society, Phoenix, Arizona, and as a trainer for Development Dimensions International (DDI), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in their Interaction Management/Skills for an Empowered Workforce Program.

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