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Miss Office Manners: Office Etiquette Refresh

by Mary Isner / January 26, 2024

With the pandemic behind us, many have returned to the office at least part of the time. What has become apparent is that being away from the office for so long has caused many people’s manners to go out the window. In this installment of Miss Office Manners, I offer my top office etiquette tips to refresh your work routine:

  • Be punctual. Always arrive on time. Even better, arrive a few minutes early. This shows your initiative to others and allows extra time to prepare for the workday.

  • Be respectful of others' time. Meetings that start late or run overtime make people feel disrespected, end of story, so just don’t do it!

  • Clean up after yourself in communal spaces. This is oftentimes people’s biggest source of frustration in an office environment (especially in the kitchen area). Wipe up any messes you make, pick up your trash, keep the microwave clean, and clear your food from the fridge when it’s past its best-by date.

  • Be mindful of noise. If you choose to listen to music, wear headphones. The same goes for participating in a video call when you are not in a private conference space. Also, it is wise to mute notifications on your phone, etc. No one wants to hear the constant ping of your text messages coming in. 

  • Respond promptly to emails and texts. During work hours, do not leave people hanging. Even a simple “OK - got it,” or something along those lines works, but receiving a message and not responding is just plain inconsiderate!

  • Treat all meetings the same. Regardless of whether it’s in-person, on video, or hybrid, show up as a professional. This means putting your phone away. Also, pay attention to the speaker and refrain from doing other tasks. Eating is usually off-limits unless it is a lunch meeting or something similar. 

  • Transparency is key. Let your coworkers know where to find you. Are you in the office, working remotely, or on PTO? Always update your calendar so your colleagues know exactly where you are and when! 

  • Dress professionally for your workplace. Offices have different dress codes, but even if your office’s dress code is more casual, that doesn’t mean it's sloppy. Take the time to be tidy and well-groomed.   

I hope you have found these tips both helpful and enjoyable. Here’s wishing everyone a productive and healthy work environment. Be safe and well, everyone!


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Tags: Office Manners

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Mary Isner

Mary Isner

Mary has a master’s degree in public administration and has worked as a facility planning analyst for Fentress since 2003. In her free time, she enjoys baking, decorating, and spending time with her family.