As promised, I present to you the final 4 tips on Workplace Etiquette that I outlined in a recent article for NSIDE Austin Business Magazine. Don’t be the one responsible for leftover cod and curried peas at your next working session!

Woman eating at her desk

  1. 1. Handle Problems & Discussions Privately: At the convention, Joe seems to live at the hospitality suite. Should you confront him in the suite about his absence from the sessions? No. Discussions regarding behavior, personnel or problems should be held behind closed doors. It is important that the conversation cannot be overheard by customers, clients and coworkers.


  1. 2. Skip Sarcasm & Jokes: Jokes and sarcastic comments made at a colleague’s, patient’s or customer’s expense are a recipe for disaster. Clients may not tell you this; however, they observe how you treat your colleagues. Clients assume you will treat them as ell or worse when under pressure.


  1. 3. Think Before You Speak: Political and global news and opinions; at times these discussions may emerge in the workplace. Employers respect workers who have the ability to observe without injecting their personal opinions. Avoid the mistake of oversharing and alienating your co-workers.


  1. 4. Forget Fragrant Foods: Consider your co-workers when you pack your lunch. Avoid foods that have a distinct odor even when served cold: tuna, salmon and hard boiled eggs. Avoid foods that smell pungent when reheated, such as fish, asparagus, broccoli, bacon and sausage, spicy or garlicky dishes, sauerkraut and steamed cabbage, etc. Avoid burning microwave popcorn.  Good ideas for lunch? Sandwiches, salads, fruit, protein bars, and soups with little fragrance. What do coworkers like to smell in the kitchen? Pizza, raisin bagels and cinnamon rolls.  Don’t be that “stinky food” offender.


Being civil and respectful in the workplace is critical to business success. Understanding workplace etiquette helps leverage future career opportunities. Being a considerate coworker will be noticed, and will reap rewards. These are small acts of workplace civility that keep the office running smoothly. What can you add to this list?