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Corporate Etiquette: How to Improve your Office Manners


When you work in the corporate sphere it is vital that you are mindful of your professional corporate etiquette at all points in time, whether your boss is around or not. Once you step into the office, you should be on your best behavior, lest others get the wrong impression of you.

When you are confined within the four walls of the office you must play by the rules or else chances are that you will be kicked out of the company.

It is usually those who have excellent office manners and corporate etiquette that are able to soar great heights.

corporate etiquette and office mannersSo here are some essential professional tips on how to improve your corporate etiquette.

Corporate Etiquette – List of Good Office Manners:

Good manners are important and useful for everyone whether it is their professional or personal life. The following are a few corporate etiquette that needs to be maintained in an office. They are

1. Being mindful of your mannerisms:

There are primarily two kinds of people in the world, those who are well behaved and those who are badly behaved.

In the corporate world, people are expected to be mindful of their manners no matter what obstacles they are made to face on a daily basis.

The top thing on the list when it comes to office manners is that, having the right kind of body language is very important indeed.

The moment you start sitting inappropriately or slouch during a meeting, that will show that you are someone who has very bad manners and has no respect for the company.

2. Addressing people correctly is vital:

When working in the office, hierarchy is something which is very important indeed and disregarding it is bound to get you in a great deal of trouble, in addition to showing you as a terribly rude person it will also present you as someone who has no idea of office manners and corporate etiquette.

If someone is superior to you in the general order of things it is vital that you refer to him as sir, or if it is a lady, then as a madam.

This will show that you have great respect for those people who have worked hard and climbed the ladder of success. They are bound to appreciate your humility.

3. Knock before entering someone’s cabin:

Prior to entering someone’s cabin, it is important that you knock and let them know that you would like to enter someone’s office. No matter who you are or what your position in the company, you should be mindful of this.

Ensure that you train yourself to knock on the door and wait for the person within to respond to you.

If you do not receive a response then you should come back at a later time, rather than just entering and waiting at the person’s desk.

Just because this is something which is often done, doesn’t mean you have to do it too.

4. Do not interfere in someone else’s business:

In order to improve your work or office etiquette you should ensure that you are looking into your own work and not unnecessarily trying to poke your nose into the work which someone else has been given the responsibility to do. If you do this, you will show yourself to be someone who has terrible manners.

Acting in such a manner will not come easy to you at first, yet as time moves on you will find that things are becoming a lot easier for you.

There is no point of feeling bad as good proper etiquette or manners is something which no one is born with.

5. Make appointments if you wish to meet with someone:

One of the most ill-mannered thing you can do when working in a company simply decides to speak with someone in the company without making a prior appointment and inquiring with either them or their secretary about what their plans for the day are.

When you do something like this you simply show to that person that you do care for whether they are busy or not. Whether they would like to meet you or not on a given day is up to them and you should not try to force yourself on to them.

Corporate Etiquette Do’s:

1. Do act in a professional manner at all points in time:

One of the most vital things to remember when you are trying to improve your corporate etiquette is that acting in a professional manner at all points in time is very important indeed.

If you do not act in a professional manner, then no matter how good you are at doing your job, no one is going to take you seriously and no one is ever going to trust you with a big and important project.

Your future is dependent on your manners so ensure that you act in a responsible and proper manner.

2. Do be on time no matter what:

A person who is mindful of his manners will be one who respects the deadlines given to him and will ensure that he finishes all tasks which are given to him much in advance.

A person who has bad corporate etiquette will give up work late and in addition to this will be late when it comes to doing any kind of work. He will walk into the office late and even enter a conference after everyone has already been seated.

Being known as the ‘late Kate’ in the office is bound to tarnish your reputation in the office.

3. Do be attentive when someone is talking:

When you are trying to improve your manners, you should try your best to improve the manner in which you are interacting with others as well.

When someone is speaking to you, should ensure that you are giving him your full attention and are not involved in your own thoughts no matter how busy you might happen to be on a given day.

A well-mannered person will make it a point to keep eye contact with the person who is speaking to him and even nods occasionally.

4. Be welcoming and warm:

A person who is well mannered will always try his best to make the clients at home whenever they walk through the company doors or even if they give them a call.

No matter how busy you are, you should try your best to pick up an important work-related call. If you are busy at a given point in time then what you should do is call them back or even text as soon as possible.

So if you wish to improve your corporate etiquette you should ensure that you reserve your best behavior for your clients and impress them by how much you respect them and give them attention.

5. Do air your views but, cordially:

Everyone in the company is entitled to their own opinion and everyone should be allowed to air their opinion as and when they feel best.

If you wish to improve your manners, what you should make it a point to do is air your opinion, but in a cordial manner such that you do not hurt the sensibilities of someone else or make them feel that their opinion means nothing at all.

So say whatever you want to without holding yourself back but ensure that you are mindful about the tone which you use.

6. Ask anyone in distress if they need help:

The moment you notice that someone is not feeling well, or someone is having trouble doing a task, you should ask them if they require any of your services as this will show that you are someone who is not merely very humane but also courteous and well mannered.

Few other workplace etiquette Do’s:

  • When sneezing or coughing in public, cover your mouth
  • Do not involve in any type of office politics
  • Always maintain your workspace neat and clean
  • Attend the office meeting with a book and pen or a tab
  • Sharing information or communication through emails would be better
  • Dress professionally
  • Start and end your lunch together, when in a group
  • Save power by turning off fans, printers, lights while leaving
  • While parking make sure you are not obstructing others way

Corporate Etiquette Don’ts:

1. Do not talk in a loud voice:

An office is a place to work. Every individual is entrusted with different things to do and everyone is expected to do their work, without making a big fuss about it.

You must train yourself to be an unobtrusive worker so that people take notice of you on their own.

A person who is loud and ill-mannered at the workplace will never be respected and will never be allowed to represent the company at any major conference, social gathering or meeting.

Paying even a little attention to your manners can take you a long way.

2. Do not ill-treat your subordinates:

As mentioned above, hierarchy is something which must be paid adequate attention at the workplace, yet this having been stated.

Even if you are someone who is at a very high position in the company it is very important that you be mindful of your manners and treat everyone in a proper and polite manner.

You should always be wishing to greet and wish anyone who you meet in the lift or pass by in the corridor irrespective of what rank the person has in the office. This will really make people respect and like you.

3. Do not munch on food at any hour of the day:

One of the most unbecoming and ill-mannered things to do in the office is constantly munching on some food or drink even when it is not your lunch or tea time.

On a given day if you are really feeling weak or hungry then you should make it a point to retire to the break room or cafeteria where you can enjoy your snack.

It is only an ill-mannered person who will pull out his tiffin box and start snacking on some grub at his desk itself. Disciplined and polite people will have proper timings to do things.

4. Do not use your mobile when a client is around:

The manner in which employees behave, determine how successful a company is going to be as the clients are the very backbone of the company.

Without hard-working and dedicated employees the company will never be able to rise from strength to strength. Good employees are able to attract the attention of the clients and convince them to invest in the company.

So you should ensure that you treat the clients well and it is very vital that you do not make use of your mobile phones when they are seated before you.

5. Do not be influenced by others to behave badly:

When you are trying to improve your corporate etiquette or office manners, you must ensure that you let your own conscience be your guide rather than trying your best to follow in the herd and listen to what someone else is telling you to do.

To improve your manners in the office you must ensure that you do whatever you think is right and correct. Sometimes a sudden emergency or problem might suddenly spring up before you and at such an instance it is vital and you do what you think is befitting.

Rather than sticking to the status quo ensure that you make your own rules along the way.

6. Do not waste office stationery:

Big offices have a steady supply of stationary, yet this is no reason that you continue to waste things and use them as you like.

You might think that no one is watching what you do, but you can rest assured that if you are wasting company stationery, then your boss is sure to make a note of this.

So if you would like to improve your corporate etiquette, it is imperative that you show that you value company property above all else.

Few other workplace etiquette Don’ts:

  • Do not embrace a casual attitude at the office
  • Never try to peep into other’s cabins or workstations
  • Do not open others files or registers without asking them
  • Chewing gum at work is considered unprofessional
  • Do not make fun of your coworkers
  • Funky tattoos and Body piercing are strict no at work.
  • Never try to pass offensive type of comments on your office colleagues
  • Official data should not be shared with anyone outside the company
  • Do not try to do your personal work during office hours
  • Smoking and drinking at work is a punishable offense
  • Avoid excessive makeup (female employees)


When in office, in addition to taking note of the kind and quality of the work which you deliver, your company seniors and bosses are going to keep a strict eye on the way in which you conduct yourself and behave.

This does not imply that you have to act in an unnatural manner. It simply means that you have to be sure that your manners are in keeping with the way someone in your position ought to behave.

Just because someone else is behaving badly, that does not mean that you too must follow in their footsteps and not make use of your better judgments.

Keep your head on your shoulders at all points in time and you will be alright.