What are some important workplace etiquette tips to keep in mind when working in the UK?

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    • #8253 0 Likes | Like it

        My name is Majdi, I am 25 years old from Sudan. I am hoping to start university in September to study Mechanical Engineering. Previously I have worked in the refugee charity sector.

        My question is: What are some important workplace etiquette tips to keep in mind when working in the UK?


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      • #8433 0 Likes | Like it
        Ciara Devlin

          The most obvious workplace etiquette tips that jump out at me are:

          (1) Arrive on time for meetings & appointments is non-negotiable;

          (2) Don’t just launch into the content of the meeting as soon as it starts, especially if you are chairing it. Take time to greet each other and make a little bit of small talk (usually weather and travel related) before getting down to business;

          (3) Be polite: please and thanks you’s are a must;

          (4) Maintain a professional tone in emails, and ‘kind regards’, ‘best wishes’ or ‘many thanks’ are popular sign-offs;

          (5) Embrace diversity – the UK is a melting pot of cultures, and embracing diversity is not just encouraged, but expected;

          (6) A sense of humour is important. British people take great pride in being self-deprecating and able to laugh at themselves;

          (7) everyone will be on first-name terms. It’s very rare for people to introduce themselves using their title;

          (8) The UK is a tea drinking nation. It’s a good way to get to know people, over a cup of tea, and you’ll definitely make new friends if you offer to make the tea for your team or even just a colleague every so often.

        • #8446 0 Likes | Like it
          Dan McLean

            Hello Majdi – A good workplace tip in the UK is to be curious and ask questions. This shows you are interested and want to learn, which is appreciated by your colleagues. It helps you understand things better and work well with others. Best of luck with your studies in Mechanical Engineering

          • #8463 0 Likes | Like it

              If you are working in an office with a phone and/or computer, keep them on mute: It is a simple, but important office courtesy rule. If your computer or phone make a noise every time you receive a message, it’s going to be distracting for co-workers.

              Instructions are often disguised as polite requests: In order to be polite, requests, suggestions, and commands are often phrased as questions. When receiving such a request from your manager, the expectation is that you will comply.

            • #8489 0 Likes | Like it

                Hi Majdi,

                1. Try to remember things about your colleagues such as their childrens’ names, where they go on holiday, how they take their tea/coffee. This will help you build relationships more easily and show your colleagues you value them.
                2. Consider personal hygiene and illness when interacting with other people.
                3. Be kind and respectful to absolutely everyone, even if you’re having a bad time or don’t regularly interact with that person. People will only take you at face value and may not know what you have going on but you are always accountable for how you present/engage with others.
              • #8509 0 Likes | Like it

                  Hi Majdi,

                  • Unless it’s a well ventilated space, don’t eat foods that smell strongly in the office (fish, curry, eggs etc).
                  • If you’re in the office, be aware of signals that show someone might not want to be interrupted – headphones in, sitting separately from everyone else etc.
                  • If you’re working remotely and need to speak to someone, drop them a message to check if they are free before calling.
                  • Be on time for meetings, and message if you are going to be late. British people are very punctual.
                  • Ask before you borrow things – even if it’s just a pen.
                  • ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are really important to us Brits!

                  Finally, if you aren’t sure, or you don’t understand something, just ask. Most people are happy to help, and we’re good at laughing at ourselves if we realise our customs are somewhat ridiculous!

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