People & Inspiration

Cheat Sheet: Office Etiquette to Keep in Mind at Your First Job

Cheat Sheet: Office Etiquette to Keep in Mind at Your First Job


Your first day at your new job can be warm and welcoming as your supervisor or boss introduces you to your colleagues. Some of them might invite you for lunch and dinner to get to know you more. But it's important to remember that work isn't a place to let loose and forget your manners, especially if it's your first job after college. Here, first impressions matter the most. 

Establishing good behavior right off the bat will quickly impress your boss and workmates, and show that you're on the path to future promotions. While office etiquette varies based on the company's work environment, it's safe to say that there are basic ones that you should already know to form strong relationships with your colleagues. For sure-fire ways to fit right in a professional environment, keep these hard rules in mind!

1. Arrive on time.

Time is precious not just to you, but to everyone in the workplace. Whether it's arriving at the office or a meeting with a client elsewhere, showing that you value other people's time will prove that you're serious about your first job. That's why rather than choosing to sleep five minutes more before you get ready for work, start getting ready earlier than expected and arrive on time! 

2. Dress to impress.

Wearing your refined outfit at your interview is a must, but when it comes to the actual workdays, make sure to take note your company's dress code. Some companies prefer their employees to wear business attire, while some prefer for them to just dress in something casual especially in the creative field. You don't want to go to your first job wearing something formal when everyone (even your boss) is just rocking a shirt, right? No matter what it is, remember that your attire plays a significant role in how comfortable, confident, and expressive your workmates will perceive you, so dress well! 

3. Respect people's space.

You think borrowing someone's pen is not a big deal when that person isn't there, but people can get somewhat territorial in a work setting. Even if that person is kind to you, it's always better to ask before borrowing or taking something. At the same time, whether it's a tiny cubicle or a spacious office space, you have no right to wander around when they're not there. You don't want your workmates to think that they're working with someone who doesn't respect their privacy, right? 

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4. Avoid gossiping.

When you first start working, of course, you're eager to fit in. When your workmates start sharing secrets and rumors, it might be hard to not gossip, too. But as much as possible, be careful about the extent of what you talk about and share with them. What you say about people reflects strongly on your character, and if you choose to spread gossip with your workmates, it might backfire on you! Remember, the newer you are, the more likely you are to get blamed on who started to spread such gossips.

5. Gauge your friendliness level.

Since you're going to spend most of your days with your workmates, it's understandable to want to get to know them on a personal level. From joining them at lunch to joking around during downtimes, the key to having a great work environment establising a certain level of friendship. But at the same time, you don't want to seem too friendly to the point of trusting them with your whole career! Be mindful when you share personal information, especially you don't know who you can be real chummies with. 

6. Be tidy.

In every workplace, there's a cleaning staff tasked to keep the place tidy once everyone starts leaving the office. Although this is a common fact, it's still advisable to clean up after yourself. If you have papers and snacks lying on your table, take the initiative to clean them up. Keeping your desk or area clean and organized reflects a lot on your professionalism at work, so be as tidy as you can!  

7. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

When it comes to moral behavior, one of the most important things to keep in mind is treating others the way you want to be treated. We're sure that it's something your parents have taught you since you were a kid to help you become a decent person, especially in the real world. If you don't like someone to leave random things on your desk or who's noisy during work hours, then don't do the same to them. If you want to be respected, then be kind and respect your workmates, too. 

You're bound to be with your workmates for five or six days a week, that's why it's necessary to mind office etiquette for a more harmonious work environment. While we may not always think about following unwritten rules, these basic ones should be something you should consciously follow to show that you are a respectable and responsible employee! Go get that bread!

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