7 Business Etiquette Every Professional Must Follow

Your career majorly depends on how you behave in professional settings, so you must keep your business etiquette sharp.  

For starters, proper business etiquette doesn’t just imply a set of rules in your workplace. It’s how you act in your professional life at every moment and how you make others feel welcomed and appreciated. 

So, let’s dive into these untold rules!

Be punctual

Punctuality shows that you value others’ time and schedule. It creates a positive impression instantly. Learn to be punctual at all times and scenario. This includes attending meetings, interviews, clocking in for work, or meeting deadlines.

If your time management skills are bad, you need to start working on it. For instance, if you often run late at work because of traffic, set out 10-15 minutes earlier.

If you’ll visit a new place for work/meeting, scope out how much time it takes to reach there around the same time. You can then set out early on the required day.

If you struggle to meet deadlines, create a to-do list and remove all distractions. If you can’t focus on workplace noise, use headphones to block them out.

Always carry business cards

Business cards are one of the most significant tools in the professional world. Whether you’re in the office, attending a client, joining networking events, or even going out for lunch, always have your business cards with you.

After all, you don’t want to seem unprepared while making connections. Otherwise, that ruins your impression!

However, carrying an entire stack of them is challenging. You can switch to digital business cards instead. You only need to tap the card against a device, and voila! Your card details reach the other person’s device!

Order a handful of them and keep one each – at your office desk, in your wallet, at home, and in the car. This way, you always have your card.

Dress appropriately

Your appearance creates your first impression. So, always dress to impress before you begin a work day.

Whether your workplace demands business attire or casual ones, make an effort every day. You never know when you might meet a stakeholder, so it’s better to be prepared.

If you’re not certain about the best work attire according to your workplace demands, speak to your manager for clarification and ideas.

Make sure you’re also well-groomed. Press your clothes regularly and keep your hair tidy. Irrespective of gender, apply some concealer if you have dark circles. Men must shave/trim their facial hair regularly. Wear sleek, minimalistic accessories that don’t attract attention.

Acknowledge others

When anyone enters the room, greet the other person with a warm smile, a handshake and a “hello.”  Especially if the other person is a team member, mention their name as well to connect. If there’s any other cultural custom, do that as well.

Be courteous in video meetings

Whether you’re dealing with an overseas client or working from home, you’ll often have to take video meetings. Follow these etiquettes during those times:

  • Unless you’re talking, stay muted. Otherwise, the background noise distracts others from paying attention.
  • Most workplaces mandate keeping your video on, so abide by that. Sit upright and look alert. Don’t be too relaxed, as that gives the wrong message.
  • Wear appropriate outfits and never wear casuals from the waist down. Otherwise, you’ll blow off your cover if you have to leave your seat for any reason.
  • Never interrupt other speakers and instead send a message on the chat when you want to say something.

Communicate effectively on emails

While sending emails, follow these steps:

  • Proofread the email to ensure there are no grammatical errors and that everything necessary is mentioned.
  • Pay attention to the tonality and ensure you don’t sound rude. Use light and positive phrases like “thanks for,” “here’s a friendly reminder,” “Please let me know,” etc.
  • Compose concise and direct emails to save both your and others’ time.
  • Make sure you respond to all emails within 1-2 business days at the latest.

Don’t gossip

Never partake in gossip or office politics. Statistics show that office politics has made 58% of employees quit or want to quit. Not only does it affect others, but it can also ruin your image.

If word goes to HR or your boss, things won’t end well. On the other hand, if you’re someone in management or a higher position, you’ll lose loyal employees.


With these etiquettes, you’ll make a lasting impression on other professionals. Remember, the smallest details make the loudest impact!

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