Business etiquette is an important part of any professional environment, and there are many unspoken rules and procedures that employees are expected to follow while at work.

To help you from committing any faux pas around your coworkers and supervisors, here are some basic business etiquette tips to keep in mind while you’re at the office:

1. Be Courteous Of Your Coworkers’ Availability  .

If you need to ask your coworker for something and their office door is closed, always knock before going in.

You never know if they’re having a serious private conversation or if they’re in the middle of writing an important email.

Even if you work in cubicles, you still shouldn’t barge into your coworker’s space.

Before you begin talking to them, stand outside their cubicle and ask if it’s a good time to talk. This will allow them to say “just a minute” if they need to finish up an email before you begin the conversation.

2. Monitor Your Volume.

Try to monitor your volume while you’re on the phone or talking to your coworkers around the office. This is especially important if you work in a cubicle – you don’t want to disrupt your coworkers’ concentration with a loud conversation.

Try to keep your professional phone calls to a low murmur. If you need to take a personal call, it’s best to go into the hallway or an empty conference room.

3. Be Respectful During Your Conversations.

Whether you’re talking to a coworker, a client, or your boss, be as respectful as possible. Always use “please” and “thank you” when you’re asking for something, and take the time to ask how your colleague is doing.

You want to be friendly, but not overly personal, especially if you’re talking to a client or colleague that you don’t know well.

It’s also a good idea to use this respectful tone in email conversations.

Straightforward emails can easily come off as standoffish if they’re not phrased properly. To avoid this, try phrasing a sentence as a request rather than a demand, and add a thank you to the end of the message.

If an email to a coworker still sounds too cold or terse, feel free to use an exclamation point or two to lighten up the message. However, it’s best not to use too many exclamation points when you’re emailing your boss or supervisor.

4. Be Attentive at Meetings.

When you’re at a meeting with your coworkers, turn your cell phone to vibrate or turn it off completely, and only use your laptop for taking notes.

Make eye contact with whoever is speaking and ask plenty of questions about the topic. Doing all of this will show that you’re attentive and respectful to the person who is holding the meeting.

When you’re in your workplace, keep these business etiquette tips in mind. When you respect your coworkers’ space and availability, you’ll be able to maintain great relationships with your coworkers, supervisors, and clients.

About The Author

This is a guest post by Sarah, a Content Marketing Specialist at Siege Media, a content marketing agency based in San Diego. With a background in public relations and passion for SEO, she specializes in developing and promoting SEO-focused content that drives growth.