< class="blue-text"p>Respect the privacy of those around you:

  • Knock first and wait to be invited in before entering someone’s office or cubicle.
  • Do not read any documents lying on someone else’s desk.
  • Do not comment on anything overheard during the conversations of others.

Pay attention to your appearance:

  • Be neat and clean, and dress for success.
  • Use perfume and make-up sparingly.
  • No tattoos or body piercings should be visible.

Telephone etiquette:

  • Never talk with food in your mouth.
  • Keep your voice down – the people around you are there to work, not to listen to your conversations.
  • Avoid using the speakerphone, unless you have your own office and can close the door.
  • Keep private telephone calls to a minimum.
  • Do not allow your cellphone ringtone to bother others – rather set it to vibrate silently.
  • If someone enters your office while you are on the telephone, politely end your conversation as soon as possible. Any person coming to see you in your office must be made to feel like the most important person in the world to you at that moment.

E-mail etiquette:

  • Convey your message professionally by using shorter sentences and proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Do not write your entire message in capital letters.
  • Do not use abbreviations or emoticons (“smiley faces”) in business e-mails, since they can appear unprofessional and the recipient may not know what they mean.
  • Do not include confidential information in an e-mail.
  • Reply to every e-mail on the same working day.  If this is not possible, send a reply acknowledging receipt of the e-mail and stating that you will attend to it as soon as possible.
  • Do not attach unnecessary files.
  • The subject line must be clear and meaningful.
  • Before sending an e-mail, read it from the recipient’s point of view and make any necessary changes.
  • Do not forward chain letters or “junk” mail, and never make any sexist, racist or otherwise discriminating remarks in an e-mail.
  • If you will be unavailable for some time, make use of the automatic “out of office” reply function so that you do not appear to be ignoring e-mails.


  • Schedule meetings ahead of time and manage them properly so as to keep them short and to the point. Distribute the agenda beforehand, with an indication of the duration of the meeting.
  • Attend all meetings as scheduled and always arrive on time.
  • Should you wish to raise a point during a meeting, you must do so via the chairperson.
  • Do not interrupt another speaker.
  • Sit quietly and pay close attention to the proceedings.
  • Do not leave the meeting before the chairperson has declared it closed.

Make a good impression:

  • When greeting someone, extend a firm handshake and make direct eye contact.  This is the only form of physical contact allowed in the workplace.
  • If seated, always stand when being introduced to someone, whether male or female.
  • When introducing people of different ranks, it is proper for a lower-ranking person to be introduced to someone of a higher rank.
  • Be courteous at all times – use polite phrases such as “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”.
  • Be a good listener and pay attention.
  • When someone has an appointment to meet with you in your office, do not keep him or her waiting longer than 15 minutes after the scheduled time.

Keep your workspace tidy:

  • An untidy workspace is a poor reflection on an employee.
  • Do not eat or drink at your desk – especially if this is in the reception area.
  • Treat all office equipment with care and respect.


  1. https://www.iwillfollow.com/email.htm
  2. https://emailreplies.com
  3. https://www.netmanners.com
  4. https://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/email_etiquette.htm
  5. https://www.ehow.com/print/way_5304458_tips-professionalism-workplace.html
  6. https://www.a-to-z-of-manners-and-etiquette.com/office-etiquette.html
  7. https://www.essortment.com/etiquette-tips-office-etiquette-36837.html
Uploaded: 17 March 2020
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