Office Etiquette: How to Establish and Enforce It Like a Boss

Workplace etiquette and a fun, engaging environment are not mutually exclusive! Find out which company policies three business leaders recommend for best success in your office.

How to Effectively Create & Share Etiquette Guidelines at Work

  1. Determine Your Priorities: First, it’s important to decide what resonates with your business and office. With a quick company survey through a free online service like SurveyMonkey , you can f igure out what’s important to your employees and leadership team . Based on your results, build out the policies you would like to put in place.
  2. , you can choose how you would like to communicate your expectations to your team. Everything from a memo, posters, or even a jazzy video can all convey your message. It depends on what you think will resonate best with your colleagues and the tone you’d like to set.Share Your Vision: Once you have an understanding of the type of atmosphere you want
  3. Uphold Your Policies: Now that your employees know what’s expected of them, b e prepared to have serious talks with individuals who aren’t following the new guidelines . Remember, your team has communicated what’s important to them in a workplace environment, so it’s essential that you don’t make light of that. But upholding office etiquette doesn’t have to fall solely on you! Here’s how your company can enforce your guidelines from the top down:
  • Management: Ensure your leadership team is aligned and ready to champion the new policies. Include it as a topic of discussion at the next management meeting and answer any lingering questions. You can also provide bullet points t o managers that cover why each policy was put into place, so that everyone is clear on how to communicate the messaging to their teams.
  • HR & Office Coordinators: Change the norm — put it in writing. Add your etiquette expectations to your employee manual, so that it’s easy for people to refer to. Monthly reminders can also help keep guidelines top-of-mind for your team. Share them all , every time or focus on one or two “problem” policies each month. Emails or posters are easy options to spread the word.
  • Team Members: Encourage employees to keep each other accountable. For accidental or small mis s teps , gentle verbal reminders from a colleague can be all it takes to get someone back on track. For constant or repeated violations , make sure everyone knows t hat t hey can discuss any issues with their manager or HR.

Pro Tips on Office Etiquette from 3 Business Leaders

1. John Rampton — Founder and CEO of

2. Daisy Jing — CEO and Founder of Banish

  • No gossip or tattling
  • Keep each other accountable
  • Constant communication
  • Empower and respect each other

3. Polly Kay — Senior Marketing Manager at English Blinds

  • No hot or smelly food at your desk.
  • No applying makeup or scents at your desk.
  • No political discussions outside of break times, and if the other party or a manager calls end of topic, it’s end of topic — even if you were winning! Also, no personal insults.
  • If you listen to music at your desk, nobody else should be able to hear it.
  • Ask others around you before you open or close a window, everyone has different opinions on a comfortable temperature.
  • If you need to take a personal call or have a private conversation, step out.
  • Keep your workspace professional
  • No political discussions
  • Desks are quiet zones
  • Communicate before adjusting the office environment

4 Non-Offensive Ways to Interact with Your Coworkers

  1. Weekly Meals as a Team: This could be you and your colleagues going out for lunch, ordering in pizza, or even taking a stroll as a group to a nearby coffee shop. Pick the same day each week so that it’s something for employees to look forward to.
  2. Volunteer Together: Find out what organizations are important to your team and offer the opportunity for employees to go volunteer as a group. Soup kitchens, clothing drives, and building items for those in need are all great options. For more suggestions, check out our blog post on 15 Creative Volunteer Ideas to Help Your Team Make a Difference.
  3. Bring in Office Treats: Take turns organizing a treat for the office every couple of weeks. You could alternate between cookies, donuts, or even something as simple as a carafe of coffee that wasn’t made at your office!
  4. Team Building Activities: Take a break from work and encourage your colleagues to tackle energizing tasks as a group. You could turn your boardroom into a temporary escape room, or experience your city like never before with a fun outdoor activity!

Learn More About Team Building Activities for Your Group



Outback Team Building & Training is your resource for team building, training, and consulting. Recommended by over 14,000+ corporate groups across North America

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Outback Team Building & Training

Outback Team Building & Training is your resource for team building, training, and consulting. Recommended by over 14,000+ corporate groups across North America