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Avoiding a lack of manners at work can help you improve your career

Avoiding a lack of manners at work can help you improve your career

According to a survey from Accountemps, more than eight in 10 respondents said that being courteous to co-workers is important for a person's career prospects. It can help improve your reputation as a good worker who respects others. Here are some common mistakes to avoid that could make you seem like you lack manners at work.

Gross behavior

One of the most common breaches of office etiquette is eating smelly food at lunch. When possible, avoid microwaving strong-smelling leftovers at the office or eating things like tuna or egg salad sandwiches. It's also a good idea to stay away from strong aftershave, perfume, or air freshener. Some people are allergic to these types of products, and they could irritate your co-workers' sinuses.

While you're at work, assume you're being watched. Even if you work from home, a supervisor could decide to check in on you through a company webcam. Avoid clipping your nails or performing other private activities during work hours.

Not dressing professionally

Even when you work from home, it's a good idea to dress in a professional way. Pajamas might be comfortable, but they could make you seem less hardworking on a video call. If you spend time at the office, you probably don't want to be known as the person who comes to work wearing inappropriate or unprofessional attire.

Bad language

No matter how relaxed or laid-back your co-workers seem, avoid cursing or using bad or offensive language at the office. Think twice before you use bad language, and avoid yelling at co-workers or appearing overly angry. Don't listen to songs or watch videos with potentially offensive language or other content, either.

Being courteous to others can help you improve your reputation at work. By avoiding common mistakes, you won't seem like you lack manners at work.

Being loud

If you're having a phone conversation or a video call, close your door or go outside to avoid disturbing others. If you play music, wear headphones. However, it's a good idea to avoid wearing headphones too much. That way, you can respond quickly if a co-worker or client needs to talk to you.

Spending too much time on social media

Social media can be useful for promoting a company or business, but using it too much can be a waste of time. People can also look at your social media posts from years ago, and potential employers could become offended by posts that weren't objectionable to anyone when you made them. Choose private or friends-only settings so that only people with permission can view your social media posts.

When you're spending time with co-workers, avoid spending time scrolling through your smartphone. Instead, do your best to pay attention to others. You can also create a profile on CareerBuilder to learn about new opportunities.

Gossiping about others

Gossiping about your co-workers or clients can say more about you than the people you talk about. It shows others that you may not keep anything they tell you confidential, and it could make people less willing to trust you. When other people gossip, don't participate. This will help to avoid spreading rumors and could enhance your reputation among your co-workers. If you avoid speculating about the personal lives of other people, they'll be more willing to do the same for you.

Spreading germs

COVID-19 isn't as prevalent as it once was, but it's still around and worth avoiding. If you feel under the weather, work from home instead of going into the office. Even if you don't have COVID-19, you could spread a cold or the flu to the other people in your office. Instead, stay home and rest. With many jobs, you can still get lots of work done while staying home.

When you go to the office, stay socially distanced from people and consider wearing a mask. Before you shake people's hands or make contact in other ways, ask permission. Some people may prefer a friendly wave from across the room instead.

Invading people's personal space

Before you enter someone's office or cubicle, knock and announce yourself. When possible, give people some privacy to help them concentrate and be more productive.

Not respecting the time of others

Unless there's an emergency, avoid contacting colleagues or clients outside work hours. You can show respect for people's personal time by saving whatever you need to say for the next business day. Being able to leave work behind outside of work hours is essential for avoiding burnout and stress.

Whether your employer is a multinational company or a small local business, etiquette is important. By making sure that you have good manners in the office and while working at home, you can get along with your co-workers better.

Related reading: a lack of manners at work

Rules for today's workplace can often be different than they were in the past, and keeping your knowledge of workplace etiquette current is a good idea.

Writing a thank-you note can help you stand out after an interview.

Avoiding certain behaviors during an interview or at work in general can help you appear more competent and professional. 

Having good email etiquette can be very important as well.

It's also a good idea to avoid bad habits so that you can get along well with others.