Many employees get reprimanded ? and not because of their work. The reason? A lack of workplace etiquette. Here's a list of dos and don'ts to make you a professional at work.

ATTIRE If it’s too short, too revealing or too casual, don’t wear it to work. Don’t forget the shoes – scruffy and dirty, bad; clean and presentable, good.

BOSS OR BFF? Getting along with your superiors can make working life easier but like all relationships, there is a line you cannot cross. A missed deadline is still a missed deadline even if your boss is a “funny guy”.

CONFIDENTIALITY Don’t start blabbing, tweeting, updating your social media about work stuff. If a colleague or a supervisor tells you something in private, keep it to yourself.

DATING Office romances happen. So do breakups – which make it awkward for the ex-couples and for those working closely with them. The golden rule? Don’t do it.

EMAIL Your email should be used strictly for work, not to send a blast about the latest office gossip or to rant about your boss. Hint: Some corporations do go through your emails (and they have every right to it) so before you hit the “send” button, think twice.

FACEBOOK Don’t spend your work hours scouring through your friends’ updates and photos. Don’t post complaints about your boss, client or company. Don’t upload photos of your Friday night debauchery if you don’t want your colleagues (or boss) to gossip about it on Monday.

GOSSIP Juicy office gossip is a reality. You spreading the gossip? Not nice at all.

HYGIENE Remember the basics: Keep your breath fresh by chewing mint gum and drinking lots of water. Deodorants are a must, especially if you sweat a lot or when it’s a hot and humid day. Don’t douse yourself with perfume. Keep your hair and nails neat. Don’t ever take your shoes off at work. Wear clean clothes always. Shave.

INSTAGRAM See Facebook. Same rules apply.

JOKES A little bit of humour at the office is great. But not if jokes are racist, sexist or rude. If it makes someone uncomfortable, stop. If nobody is laughing, stop.

KEEP IT CLEAN Be responsible for your workspace and keep it organised. A messy desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. File away papers and shut down the computer at the end of the day. Also, do your part in keeping the office clean. Don’t leave your coffee mug in the pantry unwashed.

LANGUAGE No derogatory terms or swearing – ever.

MEETINGS Be on time. Be prepared if you are presenting. Don’t fiddle with your phone or look bored when someone else is talking.

NAMES Make it a point to remember your colleagues’ names, especially if you’re the newbie. It shows that you are friendly and sincere.

OFFICE PARTY Sure, office parties are social events but they are still business events. Don’t turn up in your Phuket clubbing outfit. Don’t overdrink or overeat. Don’t spend the evening being a bore – complaining, whining or ridiculing others. Have fun – but restrain yourself.

PUNCTUALITY If your starting time is 9am, be there by 8:45am. If a meeting is scheduled for 10am, turn up 10 minutes earlier.

QUITTING Be professional until the last day. Some industries are small and your new colleagues (and boss!) will hear about your conduct sooner or later.

RESPECT Ask before you borrow anything. Respect your colleague’s privacy (don’t listen in on their phone calls or read their emails) and their opinions (even if you disagree with them).

SSHH... Keep your volume down, from your music to phone calls. No one wants to hear about your new tattoo or verbal diarrhoea, especially if she’s trying to get her job done.

TELEPHONE MANNERS Speak clearly and introduce yourself. Don’t mumble or make small talk. Go straight to the point and don’t waste anyone’s time. And even if you’re frustrated, don’t slam the phone after the call.

UNDERSTAND You will work with all sorts of people who come from different walks of life, culture and belief. If you make it a point to know others, it will make your working life a whole lot easier. A great way to understand your colleagues better? Be a good listener and pay attention.

VACATION Before you go on your holiday, make sure you complete all your work. You don’t want your colleagues to pick up after the loose ends or worse, your boss calling you while you’re enjoying cocktails by the beach. Leave your workspace neat and tidy so your team knows where to find important documents and files. Update your out-of-office message on your email and be sure to include an alternate point of contact for immediate requests.

WORKSPACE Think of a workspace as a personal space. You wouldn’t want a stranger encroaching on yours, right? Extend that courtesy to your colleagues: Don’t use their workspace without their permission or go through their personal items while they are not there. Also, don’t just barge into their workspace, they might be working on something important and don’t want to be interrupted.

YOUR SALARY Don’t be a busybody because no one wants to know if he or she is being paid less for doing the same job as another colleague.

ZZZZZ Don’t get caught sleeping on the job!

Share this article: