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Behaving Professionally in the Office As a woman working in an office, I can say how much I appreciate the respect shown to me by fellow coworkers. I know that if this respect was not in place, I would not be able to trust my co-workers and would not be able to complete my tasks to the full extent of my abilities.

Trust It shouldn’t be that difficult to show respect to others in the office. Because the workplace is usually a hierarchy, it is important to remember your role in the hierarchy and to show respect whether they are your boss or your employee. The difference is that your boss may call you by your first name while you are expected to address them as Mr. or Ms. You may also address those that work for you by this or choose to use your own discretion to call them by their first names. It is easier to motivate those that work for you if they like you, so be sure that you are showing a good example and inspiring them – and not with fear. Once they can trust you, they will do what you say to the letter.

Differentiation The biggest mistake people tend to make is to treat others differently based on different factors such as age, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. There is no excuse for acting inappropriately in the office, whether you believe someone is attracted to you or not. Everyone in the office went through the hiring process and does not deserve any less respect from you than anyone else.

Vocabulary It can be easy to make jokes and refer to someone as “gay” or “retarded,” but these terms are offensive, even if used on people that are not actually defined by those terms. As it is impossible to know the details of the lives of all of your co-workers, you never know who may be negatively affected by those derogatory terms so it is best not to use them. It is also advised to never use profanity in the office as it does not lend towards a positive reputation. If you have a potty mouth, be sure to clean it up for work in order to not offend anyone and be a repeat sexual harassment training offender.


On the same note, make sure that the clothes that you wear in the office are appropriate for the office. If there is a dress code, strictly adhere to it. Do not wear anything immodest or that displays inappropriate words or images. Groom yourself neatly by taking daily showers, getting regular haircuts, and brushing your teeth before you come into work. Presenting yourself neatly will guarantee that your co-workers will have a good impression of you.

Co-Workers Be friends with the people you work with. As you work together you are likely to see them every day. It will be much easier and much more fun if you get to know the people you work with and have typical “water cooler� chats with them. Avoid doing anything that could offend them as you will most likely continue to see them every day. Photo Credit: Farm2, Farm8

Behaving Professionally in the Office