To get ahead at work, experts say we need to practice good work etiquette. So, here are some solutions to the most common workplace etiquette dilemmas. They come from Anna Post, who co-wrote the book Emily Post’s Etiquette:
Dilemma #1: Is it ever okay to text or tweet during a meeting? Post says unless it’s your job to update social media, then put your device away and listen. In fact, while you’re at work, she says your phone should be in a drawer, set on vibrate. Why? Because when it’s out in the open, it’s like “a ticking time bomb,” waiting to go off. Plus, loud ringtones or conversations will disrupt the whole office. And everyone will know you’re not working!
Work etiquette dilemma #2: Is it okay to refuse a handshake? Nope! Post says if someone offers their hand, you should always shake it – and do it while standing. The only exception to that rule is if you’re sick. But if that’s the case, Post says why are you at work? Because it’s just as rude to infect your co-workers as it is to refuse a handshake!
The next work etiquette dilemma: What if a co-worker buys you a gift, for your birthday or the holidays? Post says in general, you don’t owe any co-worker a gift. So, if someone gets you something, don’t feel obliged to do more than say “thank you,” and leave it at that.
Finally, what’s the etiquette for when a co-worker asks for money? Like when someone’s selling cookies for their child’s school, or collecting money for a birthday gift. Post says it’s best to come up with a policy that you can stick to for every request. Like, you could give each request a flat $5. Or, choose to give $50 a year on a first-come, first-serve basis. Otherwise, she says you’ll go broke trying to support every fundraiser your coworkers come up with.