You may be a part of a workplace culture is laid-back and casual and not really a stickler for rules. However, when you enter the corporate world, there are certain behaviours that you will need to follow to (a) be taken seriously and (b) not stick out like a sore thumb. So here are our top 5 tips to follow workplace etiquette and be a pro in the corporate world.
Mind your phone manners
We all canâ€™t seem to live without our smartphones and are even addicted to it. But, checking your smartphone in the middle of a meeting or when a colleague is talking to you is just plain rude. Sure, that Facebook notification might just be the notification of the day but if you donâ€™t put your phone down and pay attention to the person in front of you, you come across as being standoffish and rude. You are basically giving them the message that what they are saying is not important.
Also, keep your phone in silent while at the workplace. By doing so, you make sure that you are not disturbing anyoneâ€™s thought process by distracting them with your notifications. If you must keep your phone in loud mode, make sure that you have a standard ringtone instead of something that distracts anyone or even offend them. It is better to keep your phone in silent because no one wants to hear the incessant beeps of your Whatsapp conversations with someone (admit it, we all have done it).
This goes without saying. Your office might be a part of the startup culture where casual dressing is permissible but make sure to draw the line between casual and too casual. No one wants to see you in your pyjamas or in revealing clothing that makes you and your co-workers uncomfortable. Sure, they never said anything about dress code but try not to take too much advantage. Imagine if someone comes for a meeting with you in a pair of shorts and a funky t-shirt. It is safer to stick with simple formals, especially when you are about to go for any meeting.
Mind your hands and legs
Crossing your legs and sitting might be the best feeling in the world for many people (myself included). But sitting cross-legged in a corporate environment where there is no table to hide them is seriously frowned upon. Sitting cross-legged comes across as being distracting or even sexy in certain cases. Speaking from a body language perspective, sitting cross-legged shows that you are not open for discussing anything with your guest. Now, we donâ€™t want that, do we?
As for your hands, when you are talking about someone in the room, it is better to use your palms to point at them than your index finger. Pointing your index finger at someone looks accusing and appears aggressive. However, if you point your palm towards them, it feels more inclusive. You wouldnâ€™t want your boss to point fingers at you for no reason now, do you?
Plan your exit
The person you are meeting with is going on and on and all you want to do is leave the place so you can catch up on some other pending work. Do not make the mistake of leaving when the other person has had the last word. Make sure that you have a polite â€˜exit phraseâ€™ and leave once you are done and not while the other person is still talking. If you cut them off in between, you send them a clear message that you find them boring. When you are talking as you exit, you make it less awkward for both and the exit is a lot smoother. Try it out the next time!
Stand up when being introduced to someone
When a colleague comes over and introduces you to someone, make sure that you stand up and talk to them than sit where you are. When you stand up, you have the greatest possibility of making eye-contact with the other person and you establish a trustworthy connection then and there. Stand up, look into their eyes, and give them a genuine smile to let them know that you are aware of whatâ€™s happening. If you are unable to stand, then at least lean forward so that the other person can graciously make you feel comfortable by asking you to sit. Also, when you stand, you establish your presence whereas if you sit down, you make it easier for them to ignore and forget about you in a short while.
So, there you have it! The top 5 workplace etiquette tips to make you corporate ready and a pro at that too!