Global tips on of­fice eti­quette

CityPress - - Careers - SHAN­NON LEE ca­reers@city­press.co.za Re­mem­ber that ev­ery­one has a life

Gone are the days when of­fice eti­quette was clearly de­fined. In to­day’s re­laxed pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment, con­duct is more ca­sual, which means it’s of­ten dif­fi­cult to know what is okay and what isn’t. For­tu­nately, some rules of work­place eti­quette are univer­sal.

Th­ese 12 tips can help you ad­just to a new of­fice or clean up your be­hav­iour in a place you’ve worked at for years.

1Avoid so­cial me­dia

Un­less your job re­quires you to pe­ruse so­cial net­work­ing sites all day, avoid them while you’re on the clock. Though surf­ing Face­book or Twit­ter might be tempt­ing, it can be detri­men­tal to your work per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity, not to men­tion the way your boss per­ceives your en­thu­si­asm – or lack thereof – for your job.

23Take that phone call else­where

Ev­ery­one has a cell­phone th­ese days, so get­ting per­sonal calls at work is pretty much un­avoid­able. But don’t as­sume that just be­cause your phone rings, it’s okay to an­swer it right there at your desk. If you get a per­sonal call, ex­cuse your­self and an­swer it in pri­vate. The last thing you want to do is air your per­sonal business at work.

Gossip – the big no-no

Who hasn’t been tempted to spec­u­late on the lives of their co-work­ers? It’s es­pe­cially tempt­ing when ev­ery­one else in the of­fice is do­ing it. But re­mem­ber that gossip says more about you than it does about the per­son you’re dis­cussing.

4Keep emails for­mal

Email seems pretty ca­sual, doesn’t it? Con­trary to popular belief, work emails should be held to the same GOSSIP GIRL Gossip says more about you than it does about the per­son you’re dis­cussing for­mal stan­dards that you would hold any other of­fice cor­re­spon­dence to. So toss the slang, get the punc­tu­a­tion right and proof­read be­fore you hit send.

5Watch your lan­guage

No mat­ter how com­fort­able you are with your co­work­ers, or how ca­sual your of­fice may seem, blurt­ing out a curse word can get you no­ticed for all the wrong rea­sons. You don’t want that ac­ci­den­tal f-bomb to over­shadow your work, so keep the lan­guage clean.

12Show re­spect for ev­ery­one’s down­time by avoid­ing late-night emails, phone calls or any­thing else that might re­quire some­one from the of­fice to re­spond after hours. Save those for the next business day. Leav­ing the of­fice be­hind when you walk out the door is im­por­tant for ev­ery­one – so hon­our business hours, but make sure you hon­our your time off, too.

Whether you’re in a high-stress of­fice or a re­laxed small business, eti­quette mat­ters. Brush up on it now to con­tinue mak­ing a great im­pres­sion on your boss, co-work­ers and clients.

– Ca­reer­Builder.com

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES / IS­TOCK­PHOTO

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