Basic Business Etiquette Everyone Should Know

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Nowadays, companies have embraced a more laid-back startup culture. Cubicles have been knocked down and replaced with open floor plans. Office furniture can be anything from bean bag chairs and nap pods to foosball tables and arcade games. Suits and ties have been discarded for T-shirts and jeans. Remote work is getting more and more popular.

The less rigid office environment may have some feeling like business etiquette rules are antiquated and unnecessary. Don’t throw them in the trash with floppy disks and strict dress codes just yet. Although it may not be obvious, many companies still have implicit professional and social rules of conduct.

When you tell others your name, include your last name. This is especially important if you have a common first name like Lily or Thomas. When you first meet someone, pay attention to their name.

Greeting the people that you come in contact with isn’t only polite, but it establishes rapport. You never know who the people that you greeted could be, so it is important to greet everyone with the same degree of kindness.

Handshakes are the universal business greeting. A firm handshake is still considered a positive trait. A weak one is negative. Usually, the higher ranking person will offer their hand first, but if they don’t, you can still offer yours.

Be careful not to interrupt. If you wish to speak, you may send a nonverbal signal by opening your mouth, but it is polite to wait for them to finish.

Give a little more information than just their name though. You might add the person’s role at your company and what they do. This gives others some background but keeps it brief.

Write out a thoughtful thank you and send it by snail mail. It may take a few more minutes of your time and a slight change for postage, but it is more appreciated.

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