James didn’t realize he was causing anger and frustration among his coworkers. Because he scheduled meetings back-to-back, he would regularly show up to his next meeting 10-15 minutes late. James also checked his email messages and took cell phone calls – during meetings.
Worse yet, because James wanted his manager to view him as productive, he rarely took days off when he was sick; choosing, instead, to come to work and expose his coworkers while he coughed and sneezed his way through the day.
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, the workplace can become stressful when employees don’t follow basic office etiquette.
Why is office etiquette important? Because bad manners at work can be bad for business by negatively affecting employee morale and productivity.
To ensure a happy and productive work environment, every employee (not just management) should act as a role model by demonstrating the following good manners:
- Stay at home when you’re sick.
- Always show up on time for meetings. If you’re usually running late, try scheduling meetings in 45 minute increments to allow enough time to get to your next one.
- Keep meetings to the scheduled amount of time. Don’t force the next group to stand in the hallway outside the conference room waiting for you and your group to finish.
- Put your cell phone on vibrate mode to prevent disturbing others.
- Pay attention during meetings and avoid multi-tasking, such as scrolling through emails on your smart phone or computer.