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Workplace Etiquette Can Make (or Break) Careers

A little common courtesy goes a long way at the office, according to research from…

  • June 22, 2018

A little common courtesy goes a long way at the office, according to research from staffing firm Accountemps.

Senior managers surveyed recently by Accountemps said the most common breaches of business etiquette committed by staff and coworkers include running late to or missing meetings (34 percent), not responding to calls or emails in a timely manner (26 percent) and gossiping about others in the office (23 percent).

A corresponding survey of workers found slightly different results, with respondents citing talking about colleagues as the most common offense (24 percent), followed by being distracted during meetings (18 percent) and not responding to work communication in a timely fashion (17 percent).

View a slideshow to learn more about managers’ and employees’ opinions on workplace etiquette and courtesy.

“It goes without saying that you should show respect toward your colleagues, yet etiquette blunders happen every day,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Showing up on time for meetings and paying attention when you’re there demonstrates that you value the time and efforts of others. Just being polite goes a long way toward creating a better work environment.”

The findings from our research indicate being courteous to coworkers impacts career success; 65 percent of managers and 46 percent of workers say it can accelerate advancement.

However, the respondent groups did not see eye to eye when it comes to courtesy and moving up the corporate ladder. Sixty-one percent of leaders said professionals become more courteous as they advance, but a near majority of employees (48 percent) disagreed and said politeness declines.

Steinitz added, “How you conduct yourself in the office and treat others can be just as important to your career as your work performance. Remember to think about how others may interpret your actions, and always aim to be considerate toward your colleagues.”

Additional advice on how to improve office etiquette can be found on the Robert Half blog.

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