Whether you are working for a team of lawyers with million dollar clients or a small business owner, the etiquette and treatment of co-workers and clients are the same. At all times be business-like and set a professional tone. Never take any visitor to your offices for granted and work by the same rules as everyone else.

Wear corporate or business casual that properly identifies you and the work environment you are in. If you are on a huge floor with work stations which offer little privacy, do not interrupt the person at work by leaning over the partition; you are intruding on someone else’s space, keeping them from their work and wasting time. Do not wear shorts, short-short dresses or anything in denim. It is a business, not dating agency.

Avoid an embarrassing situation for your colleague at a business lunch by finding a way to let him know that there is food stuck in his teeth. Do not let him continue talking and appear funny to his listeners.

cake 1Credit: Rayda Jacobs


Do your part in the office by being amenable to sharing kitchen duty or making coffee and do not set yourself apart from others. This could lead to alienation at a time when you most need it. It is hard to start a new job and blend in.

Do not take part in office gossip as it will come back to haunt you. If you see two employees having a romantic moment, do not repeat this to a colleague. The couple can lose their jobs if you say anything to anyone.

Act immediately when someone gets fired. It is embarrassing for the person and for the onlookers at their desks. There is no privacy. Just say you are sorry to hear and leave it at that. You cannot save the situation and you do not want to prolong it. Everyone looking on is feeling guilty.

Listen calmly when someone screams at you on the phone; don’t argue. Even though you might be angry, talk in a normal voice and say that you will call him back. Let your client calm down.

Never share office problems and politics with colleagues. You don’t know how close that person is to the boss. The best way to keep out of trouble is not to get into gossiping and romantic arrangements. You do not want to spread gossip and alienate everyone.

Pick the right restaurant for the office luncheon. Have fun, relax a little, but do not get caught up in drinking too much and playing the fool. Bosses watch; they know what liquor can do to those who have low impulse control.