17 Dos and Don’ts of Modern Office Etiquette

Business lady posing for mirror with lipstick applied, refreshing make up

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, traditional office etiquette is getting a makeover. As technology, culture, and communication methods change, so do the expectations for professional behavior. Let’s explore the dos and don’ts of modern office etiquette, from email communication to dress codes, to help you navigate the contemporary workspace with grace and professionalism.

Featured Image Credit: motortion /Depositphotos.com.

#1 Do: Mind Your Email Etiquette

Partial view of female hacker using digital laptop at wooden table
Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Use a Clear and Concise Subject Line: Make it easy for recipients to understand the purpose of your email at a glance.
  • Do Respect Response Times: Acknowledge emails promptly and respond in a timely manner, even if it’s just to confirm receipt.
  • Do Proofread: Double-check your emails for typos, grammatical errors, and clarity before hitting send.
  • Don’t: Overload Colleagues with CCs and BCCs
  • Don’t Use Email for Every Communication: Not all messages require an email; sometimes, a quick chat or a phone call is more efficient.
  • Don’t Write in All Caps or Use Excessive Punctuation: It comes across as shouting and can be seen as unprofessional.

#2 Do: Embrace Open and Inclusive Communication

Young successful businesswoman discussing on the project together in modern office room
Image Credit: BongkarnGraphic /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Encourage Team Collaboration: Foster an environment where colleagues feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions.
  • Do Use Inclusive Language: Be mindful of diverse backgrounds and use language that respects and includes everyone.
  • Do Provide Constructive Feedback: Offer feedback with the intention of helping colleagues grow professionally.

#3 Don’t: Gossip or Spread Negativity

Photo of pair foxy lady brunet, guy staring unexpected open mouth hands cheeks wear casual t-shirts isolated blue background
Image Credit: deagreez1 /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Engage in Office Gossip: Negative talk can damage morale and relationships. Stay focused on productive discussions.
  • Don’t Be Rude or Dismissive: Treat colleagues and superiors with respect, even when you disagree with them.
  • Don’t Micromanage: Trust your team members to do their jobs without constant supervision.

#4 Do: Dress Appropriately for Your Workplace

Handsome confident bearded businessman standing with crossed arms
Image Credit: IgorVetushko /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Follow Dress Codes: Adhere to any established dress codes, whether business casual or formal and consider your company culture.
  • Do Dress for Success: Dressing professionally can boost confidence and make a positive impression.
  • Do Pay Attention to Personal Hygiene: Maintain good grooming habits to ensure you present yourself professionally.

#5 Don’t: Push Dress Code Boundaries

Businessmen at job interview
Image Credit: DmitryPoch /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Overdo It: Avoid overly casual or provocative attire, as it may be distracting or unprofessional.
  • Don’t Wear Strong Fragrances: Perfumes and colognes should be subtle to avoid causing discomfort to colleagues with sensitivities.

#6 Do: Respect Personal Space and Boundaries

Selective focus of female office manager standing with crossed arms
Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Knock Before Entering a Colleague’s Office: Always request permission before entering someone else’s workspace.
  • Do Respect Break Times: Allow colleagues their breaks and lunchtimes without interrupting.

#7 Don’t: Invade Personal Space or Overstep Boundaries

Young multiethnic business people looking at each other
Image Credit: ArturVerkhovetskiy /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Snoop on Colleagues’ Workstations: Respect their privacy and the confidentiality of their work.
  • Don’t Overshare Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing personal details that may make colleagues uncomfortable.
  • Don’t Bring Personal Issues to Work: Keep personal conflicts and issues outside of the office.

#8 Do: Respect Meetings and Time Management

Young business teamwork in meeting process
Image Credit: lighthouse /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Arrive on Time: Punctuality is a sign of professionalism. Arrive for meetings and appointments on schedule.
  • Do Prepare for Meetings: Come to meetings with an agenda and any necessary materials ready to contribute productively.
  • Do Keep Meetings Efficient: Stick to the agenda and avoid unnecessary tangents or lengthy discussions.

#9 Don’t: Waste Time or Interrupt

Everyone needs something from me today. a young businesswoman feeling stressed out in a demanding office environment at work
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Arrive Late: Tardiness can disrupt meetings and inconvenience colleagues.
  • Don’t Interrupt Others: Allow others to speak and finish their thoughts before chiming in.

#10 Do: Use Technology Mindfully

Handsome man in headphones listening music and looking away
Image Credit: ViktoriaSapata /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Silence Your Phone: Keep your phone on silent or vibrate mode during meetings and work hours.
  • Do Use Headphones: When listening to audio or video content, use headphones to avoid disrupting your colleagues.
  • Do Be Cautious with Social Media: Use social media responsibly during work hours, and avoid oversharing about work-related matters.

#11 Don’t: Overuse Technology for Personal Matters

Closeup portrait anxious young girl looking at phone seeing bad news, photos with disgusting expression on face about to cry isolated outdoors city building on background. Mixed race model in glasses
Image Credit: HBRH /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Check Personal Email Constantly: Limit personal email and internet browsing to designated break times.
  • Don’t Engage in Excessive Personal Calls: Save personal calls for breaks or lunchtime, and keep them brief.

#12 Do: Maintain a Clean and Organized Workspace

A clean office desk and chair with a table lamp and laptop.
Image Credit: geerati@gmail.com /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Keep Your Workspace Tidy: A clutter-free workspace helps you stay focused and maintains a professional appearance.
  • Do Label and Organize Documents: Keep documents and files well-organized, and use clear labels for easy retrieval.

#13 Don’t: Create Disorganization or Clutter

A messy desk with laptop, notepad, pen, coffee cup and crumpled pieces of paper.
Image Credit: vapm /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Leave Mess for Others: Clean up after yourself in common areas like the kitchen and meeting rooms.
  • Don’t Leave Personal Items Everywhere: Avoid cluttering shared spaces with personal belongings.

#14 Do: Be Mindful of Noise Levels

modern boardroom, office room, meeting room.
Image Credit: ImageSupply /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Keep Noise to a Minimum: Use headphones for music or video calls to avoid disrupting colleagues.
  • Do Use Meeting Rooms for Discussions: If you need to have a conversation, use a private meeting room rather than talking loudly in an open workspace.

#15 Don’t: Create Unnecessary Noise Disturbances

High angle view of excited handsome businessmen making noise in the office
Image Credit: IgorVetushko /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Play Loud Music: Your music preferences may not align with everyone else’s, so keep the volume at a reasonable level.
  • Don’t Shout Across the Office: Use appropriate communication channels, like emails or instant messaging, to avoid shouting across the workspace.

#16 Do: Show Appreciation and Gratitude

Smiling handsome businessman and african american partner shaking hands
Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.
  • Do Express Thanks: Acknowledge and express gratitude when a colleague goes out of their way to help you.
  • Do Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate team and individual accomplishments.

#17 Don’t: Neglect Courtesy and Respect

Fight, divorce or couple with anger, conflict or affair with marriage issue, home or ignore. Partners, mature woman or man with frustration, relationship problems or toxic with depression or cheating.
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com /Depositphotos.com.
  • Don’t Take Credit for Others’ Work: Give credit where it’s due, and don’t claim someone else’s accomplishments as your own.
  • Don’t Ignore or Exclude Colleagues: Make an effort to include everyone and foster a sense of belonging within the team.

“10 Things That Will Fade Away as the Baby Boomer Generation Bows Out”

Vintage 1960 woman in convertible car looking over sunglasses.
Image Credit: ysbrand /Depositphotos.com.

The winds of change are upon us, and as the baby boomer generation slowly makes its way into their senior years, many users agree that there are certain aspects of life that will inevitably fade into the past. The generational shift is bound to bring about transformations that might leave us both nostalgic and relieved.

10 Things That Will Fade Away as the Baby Boomer Generation Bows Out

“18 Things Millennials Do That Annoy Boomers”

Girl wearing noise-cancelling headphones and holding the headphones on her ears, smiling.
Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort born between 1981 and 1996. They have grown up in a world that is vastly different from that of their parents and grandparents, the Baby Boomers. As a result, there are certain behaviors and attitudes that Millennials exhibit that can be perceived as annoying by Boomers.

18 Things Millennials Do That Annoy Boomers

“13 Things That Were Once Highly Respected But Is Now a Complete Joke”

Close-up of confident soldier against american flag
Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia /Depositphotos.com.

We scoured social media threads to bring you the most candid and honest responses from real people. From the mundane to the shocking, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the things that were once highly respected but is now a complete and utter joke.

13 Things That Were Once Highly Respected But Is Now a Complete Joke

“11 Old-School Etiquette Rules You Don’t Need To Follow Anymore (And 3 You Do)”

A creative vintage photo of a beautiful pin-up girl drinking tea and showing good table manners on colorful abstract cartoon style background.
Image Credit: fisher.photostudio /Depositphotos.com.

In a rapidly changing world, social norms and etiquette have evolved significantly over the years. What was once considered proper and polite may now seem outdated and unnecessary. While some old-school etiquette rules still hold value today, others have become obsolete.

11 Old-School Etiquette Rules You Don’t Need To Follow Anymore (And 3 You Do)

“22 Things Non-Boomers Share That Makes Them a Complete Boomer”

Photo of excited nice woman in striped dress grabbing her head and expressing surprise isolated over blue wall
Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot /Depositphotos.com.

A social media post asked folks to share what makes them feel like total “boomers” even as they embrace the digital age. Their responses were both amusing and relatable, proving that no matter how advanced we become, some things will always have us shaking our heads.

22 Things Non-Boomers Share That Makes Them a Complete Boomer

DISCLOSURE: The post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.