Businesses all over the world have taken into practice a laid-back approach towards the setting of working space. The rigid cubicles, coats, and ties culture have almost diminished, leaving offices to become more informal these days. However, that doesn’t mean office manners and business etiquette do not get due consideration.
On the contrary, business etiquettes are mandatory in all companies, especially those that require higher levels of formality, such as banks and legal firms. They are vitally important for functional corporate operations. Business heads and administration put great emphasis on these etiquettes for the increase in productivity. So here are some business etiquettes principles that professional must abide by
Greeting everyone with politeness irrespective of their positions creates a friendly alliance. Acknowledging people with a nod or a smile shows them that they are valued. People remember you and think of you as kind and pleasant. It can make future dealings with employees from different departments a smooth ride. Polite and warm greetings also set the right tone when entering a business meeting or negotiation with another potential business partner or client.
A handshake is a professional necessity
Pre- and Post-COVID, a handshake can help you step ahead in greetings and form more cordial relations with fellows and heads of the office. It manifests that you are confident and reliable. And, you can also make extra efforts to establish a rich and compatible working environment. However, handshakes are not a universal symbol of professionalism and business etiquette. In fact, in some Asian business cultures, a hard handshake is considered rude; you might want to be careful with that grip!
Business interactions require effective communication. This includes verbal and non-verbal communication, straightforward emails, telephonic and face-to-face meetings. Additionally, it is best to be prepared with facts before entering a discussion or meeting with other business stakeholders. Here, the importance of business analytics is evident as it provides accurate company and market data. This information is necessary for having well-curated discussions with other business-related people to enhance the outcomes of business communication. Also, avoid harsh and aggressive behavior in any professional capacity. It can result in miscommunication and a bad reputation.
Make efforts to remember names
An individual’s name is an essential component of her/his identity. Remembering names is a wise tactic to impress business associates because it instigates that you hold them in high esteem. Make genuine efforts to memorize names by attaching a particular characteristic to a person that helps you to recall it. Try to repeat the name 3 to 4 times in the conversation as repetition aids in creating a picture of that person in mind connected with the name. However, just like handshakes, addressing people by their first name or without a suitable prefix/business title may be rude in some cultures. Consider educating yourself on these little nuances if you frequently work with non-natives.
Always arrive on time
No one likes latecomers in any walk of life. It will be highly beneficial to adhere to the ‘Five minutes early is late” rule in the business atmosphere. Always try to arrive on time or a little early to start your day in a relaxed way. Especially for important business meetings, try to come before the appointed time to settle in well and be prepared to receive clients or set files and things. Punctuality can earn you respect and enhances your integrity in the establishment. Not being punctual reflects poorly on your business etiquette and will affect future dealings.
Offices are now less focused on formal suits, but that doesn’t entail wearing t-shirts and denim in a formal setting. Dressing according to the office culture can imply that you are taking your role seriously and are dedicated enough to dress the part. First impressions are usually formed based on a person’s dressing and are hard to change. Therefore, your work outfit must be appropriate for a professional/business setting.
Maintain good hygiene
Good personal hygiene is imperative for working in a professional area. People avoid and dislike individuals with tangled hair, dirty fingernails, messy clothes, and body odor. All professions demand that employees must be neat and tidy. You can keep a small pouch of essentials like a comb and deodorant with you to have the perfect condition in an office.
Double-check all correspondence
Your correspondence through emails, letters, and memos reflects your competence as a professional. Thus, you must proofread all of your correspondence carefully before sending it to business partners or clients. Ensure that there are no grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or incorrect data. Further, in the international business community, inappropriate use of conventions causes translation errors. Use a suitable translator to avoid unnecessary business etiquette trouble in such cases.
Avoid talking about politics and religion
Political views and religion are personal matters that should not be judged in a workspace. These topics must remain off-limits and outside the office doors. Arguments and discussions on such issues can cause discomfort and conflict in the workplace. It disrupts the peace and cohesiveness of the professional environment. Thus, avoid these topics and respect everyone’s perspective.
Don’t use your phone in meetings
During a meeting, don’t focus your energy on your cell phone; give the meeting your full attention instead. Avoid texting, taking calls, and checking emails in a meeting room. It is disrespectful that you are ignoring the other members and devaluing their time. It takes the concentration away from the matter at hand and also prolongs the meeting.
Learn table manners
Business lunches and dinners are everyday affairs in most cultures. People use these events to discuss potential mergers, deals, and other various business-related decisions. Hence, it would be best if you learned proper table manners before joining one. You should not talk with a full mouth, use the appropriate cutlery, and don’t put your elbow on the table. A good dining etiquette involves letting your host order first to order a dish within the same or close price level. It is also ideal to have a snack before these lunches and dinners to give your full attention to the business discussion.
Business etiquette aims to acquire mutual respect, strong communications, and a stable professional setting. Maintaining the manners mentioned earlier keeps the company working like a well-oiled machine. It further expands operating efficiency and yields high outcomes for the growth of a business looking to partner with other companies within the same industry.