Starting with an obvious statement, many companies are reducing their workforce. These reductions add to a highly competitive environment workplace environment.   This makes it more important than ever to make the best impression possible to management, employers and potential clients and customers.  A recent Harvard University study found that 85% of workplace success is due to personal skills.
Workplace etiquette is important.  Here are a few pointers to improving your workplace impression.

1.  Don’t burn bridges.
Every person in your company can affect every other person.  Jobs are interconnected.  The person who you are rude to today could be the person you work for tomorrow or someone you may need to ask for help. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.  This goes along way to gaining a good reputation.

2.  Make meeting time useful.
When you need to have a meeting, keep in mind other participants are busy too and be prepared with materials or information needed for the meeting.  Thank attendees for their contributions and send out a meeting recap that summarizes what was discussed, agreed to and action items.

3.  Communicate promptly
When you receive a phone call or email, whether internally or from a client, be sure to respond in a timely manner.  If the answer requires more time then let the sender know that you are working on the answer and that you will keep them posted as to your progress. Don’t leave either your employer or client wondering what is happening with their request or they will assume you have dropped the ball.

4.  Using email or any electronic communication
Take time to carefully craft your message.  This includes checking spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalization. Be specific, avoid unclear questions or one-word answers.  Email has a tone of it’s own so be aware of the tone of your communication.

5.  Respect Others’ Time
When you need to interrupt someone,  be polite and get to the point quickly, to allow them to get back to his work in progress.  Avoid interrupting meetings unless it is absolutely necessary.

6.  Dress for Success
Even in a casual environment, err on the side of caution.  Your appearance can imply to clients and coworkers that the situation, company or people involved aren’t worth the effort to present yourself respectably.

7.  No surprises–Keep Your Manager Informed
Be authentic and be sincere.  Don’t overdo compliments and agreements. Treat coworkers and managers with respect. Provide your boss with information, since your manager is ultimately responsible for your performance.  Inform your manager of delays, setbacks, new developments or concerns.

8.  Be timely
Time is almost always a factor in anything business related, from a deadline for a project or a meeting set to begin, don’t be late. It implies that you have things more pressing than your coworkers or clients, and more worthy of your attention.

9.  Remember the Basics
Remember your manners. “Please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are some of the most basic spoken manners.  Avoid raising your voice and offensive language. Disrespectful, yelling and offensive language should be avoided.  That type of behaviour leaves a lasting impression that you don’t want.

A very simple way to look at it is treat others like you want to be treated.