Grow your career on

Advanced Search



Workplace Etiquette For Newbees Part 1

By Sonya Buck, Australia


When you are new to the workforce sometimes you may not realise that how you are perceived can impact your career success.  Therefore, it’s important to know from day one what is expected of you.


Here are just a few tips to assist you with workplace etiquette.


Dress Code
Many employers provide a uniform or at least a workshirt usually with the organisation’s logo. If not, take your lead from both the type of workplace and others within your workplace.  In some situations, High Visiability (Hi Vis) work clothing is a must to ensure you comply with workplace safety guidelines.


Whatever your role, ensure you always appear clean, your clothes are ironed and you are neat in appearance.   Your appearance is particularly important for those with customer contact and in particular, for Sales Representatives.


Be welcoming
A firm, but not too hard handshake is the norm and thankfully is now acceptable in all environments for both men and women.  A smile also goes a long way in providing warm welcome.


Try and remember them and if you can’t, write them down.  It really does work to repeat them a conversation several times to ensure they are remembered.  Ensure you keep your contacts business cards which will help jog your memory.


Be alert
Try to not yawn or look sleepy in the workplace, particularly in meetings. If you feel yourself nodding off, move forward in your seat and drink water, it always helps.   Try not to draw or doodle during meetings or when someone is speaking.  Don’t be distracted by your phone and the best thing to do is turn it off.


Show respect for each person in the workplace whichever role they carry out.  Whether their role is more junior or senior to yours, everyone plays an important part in keeping the organisation running.  Where appropriate show you are grateful for the work they carry out.


Personal Space
Ensure you respect everyone’s personal space.  It has been proven that country people particularly like a little more personal space than city (it must be all those crowded city lifts!).  Don’t stand too close or hover over anyone’s desk.


Make sure you return calls and emails within 24 hours or sooner if you can. Even if you let someone know you are working on their request or finding out the information, it’s better than no reply at all.


Never say in an email anything you wouldn't say to someone's face and don’t gossip via email.  I’m sure you have heard about inappropriate emails going to the wrong person leading to dismissal, just one reason not to gossip.


Limit your personal calls and if possible, wait till a break.  It’s difficult now we are so connected to our mobile devices, but really no one wants to hear what you are having for dinner that night.


There are so many workplace tips, we’ll save the rest for part 2 of this article.