Just as technology and the way we interact with one another is constantly changing, workplace etiquette has also changed and evolved over the years. Professional etiquette in the workplace plays an important role in maintaining proper relationships with colleagues. Therefore, it is prudent for every manager to familiarize themselves with current trends and conduct themselves in a way that is synonymous with 21st century culture and expectations. Here are a few examples of 21st century workplace etiquette that every manager should know and practice.
Social Media Etiquette
One of the biggest game changers in recent years is the influence of social media. Whether we like it or not, social media isn’t going anywhere but the way we interact with it should certainly be considered. Employers should encourage employees to refrain from using social media during work hours, as this can be a distraction and affect work performance. Proper social media etiquette also includes avoiding voicing negative opinions about your company via social media. Likewise, employees should never post inappropriate pictures or comments regarding work events. Employees need to understand that they represent their company by the way they act in person and on social media.
Treat Women as Equals
In the 21st century, women have equal footing in the workplace and should, therefore, be treated with an equal amount of respect. When an important female client or executive walks in, stand to greet her and shake her hand just as you would a male counterpart. Give women tasks and opportunities just as you would men. Include women in important meetings and discussions and consider their input. No matter what position they hold, females in the workplace should be respected and treated as equals.
Be Sensitive to Diversity
You will be working with people of all races, religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds so it is important to be inclusive and sensitive to diversity in the workplace. Your workplace culture should promote acceptance and respect for all employees despite differences in race, age, gender, ethnicity, political beliefs, religion, or sexual orientation.
Promote a Flexible Work Schedule
Long gone are the days when businesses operate on a strict 9-5 schedule. Thanks to technology, everything is more accessible so employees have access to their work anytime and any place. Remote working is here to stay and is definitely a perk that most millennials expect in a job. Therefore, managers should keep an open mind about flex scheduling and give employees the chance to enjoy that freedom. This does require responsibility on the employee’s part to uphold the expectations of their job even if they are working from home.
Communication is Essential
Communication is an extremely important part of workplace etiquette. It’s important for managers to be mindful of how they communicate in meetings and one-on-one conversations. The 21st century workforce wants to be well informed and expects transparent and routine communication. Employers should seek to provide feedback on a regular basis as well as offer opportunities for professional development.
Be Professional at All Times
Sharing information about your personal life is your choice, but you should be cautious when it comes to what you share. Some colleagues may be fine with discussing personal matters and others may find it off-putting. You should be courteous to everyone, but also cautious about what you say to coworkers of the opposite sex. The 21st century has seen a huge push for workplace safety and taking a stand against harassment. Always tread lightly with comments regarding other employees and avoid situations that could be mistaken for something else. You want to create an atmosphere where employees feel safe and comfortable. It’s always best to remain completely professional at all times in the workplace.