Professional etiquette on the decline

More consideration for co-workers needed

A new survey sponsored by OfficeTeam, an international administrative staffing firm, concludes that professional courtesy in the workplace has decreased over the last five years.

The survey was conducted in the U.S. Responses were elicited from 525 men and women employed full-time in professional environments.

Thirty-six per cent of those surveyed indicated that they felt that professional courtesy had increased and 18 per cent felt there was no change. However, 44 per cent thought that manners in the workplace had decreased in the last five years. (The remaining two per cent didn’t have an answer.)

OfficeTeam offers the following courtesy “checkpoints”:

•value others’ time – stick to project deadlines, return messages and arrive on time to meetings.

•don’t inconvenience others – clean your leftovers out of the office fridge and don’t leave a paper jam in the photocopier.

•be courteous – say “please” and “thank you”, return e-mail messages, and deliver bad news in person rather than over the phone.

•respect boundaries – knock before entering co-workers’ workspaces and ask whether they have time before launching into a discussion.

•give credit where it’s due – let your manager know when you’ve received help on a project and praise your colleagues for a job well done.

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