Professional attire is different for every employer, industry and organization. You want to be smartly dressed, clean and properly groomed prior to arriving at work. Find out what is acceptable at your workplace. Pay attention to the way people dress. Business casual isn't the same at every workplace. Save the crop tops, flip-flops, sneakers, see-through tops, baggie or tight clothes, shirts with inappropriate language, distracting accessories, strong fragrances, etc. for times when you are not at work. As a general rule, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Being conservative in your dress is safe. Again, impressions matter and the way you dress at work shapes what others think of you.
Learn peoples' names. If you are unsure of how to pronounce someone's name, don't assume. Be sincere and ask. Avoid making any value judgments on people's importance in the workplace. Make sure to respond to voicemails and emails within appropriate time. Think before hitting "reply all" on an email. When someone is off the clock, whether on vacation, sick or outside of their normal work hours, respect their down time. Don't call, text, or email them unless given specific instructions to do so. Make sure your music cannot be heard by others. Mute your computer so others do not hear when you receive an email or reminder. Eat your own food. If you didn't bring it, or there isn't a sign saying "help yourself", leave it alone.
Be on time. Tardiness is a sign of disrespect for others' time. It also shows a lack of interest in your work. Every day and for all your meetings, arrive before expected. Pay attention to those who are speaking. Avoid moving around too much or playing with things. If you are sick, it is important to notify your supervisor as well as any other colleague/client who might be affected by your absence. Unless an emergency, do not conduct personal business such as using your cell phone during work hours. Keep your cell phone on mute. Respond to texts or social media during your lunch or break.
Own up to your behavior and actions. If you make a mistake, don't make excuses. Own up to your mistake and offer to correct them. Placing blame on others or trying to hide your mistake, makes you look untrustworthy.
Another important part of work place etiquette in the US, centers around your social and interpersonal skills. Don't forget to say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, excuse me, and other basic courtesies around your coworkers. Smile, stand straight, make eye contact, and face people who are speaking. When appropriate, provide a firm handshake. Be aware of your body language and email tone even when you are not saying anything. Avoid interrupting. Failing to use basic social skills can easily turn people off.
When you work in a shared space, it is inevitable you'll engage in conversation with another person. Be mindful of what topics you talk about at work and if engaging in conversation in an open area, keep your volume as low as possible to avoid distracting others. Avoid issues and topics that could create a potential awkward environment. If you are not able to avoid these types of discussions, it is important to learn to acknowledge other people's views and preferences. You don't have to agree with them, but being respectful is proper etiquette. All of your colleagues deserve respect, regardless if they are not always respectful in return. Limit sharing your personal life at work as things can come back to you haunt you. Take all personal conversations to a place outside of the workspace. Don't gossip.
Always pick up after yourself. Regardless, if there are cleaning staff hired at your company, it is not anyone else's job to clean up your mess. Clean up after yourself when using counters and appliances shared with others. If your work station is visible to the public or shared with others, don't allow clutter and mess to build up. Make sure your desk is clean and organized. You don't want colleagues or clients to draw negative conclusions about your attention to detail and your ability to do your job efficiently.
Whether it is a cubicle, office, or public common area, respect people's space. Just because a door is open or a person's workspace is within reach of you, doesn't make it common ground. Politely knock and ask if you can interrupt. Ask and receive permission before helping yourself to anything in your coworker's personal workspace. Respect privacy. Don't eavesdrop or peer over someone's shoulder. Keep appropriate physical distance from each other. Standing too close can make people feel uncomfortable. Also learn what food smells and noise is appropriate at your workplace before causing a distraction.
Be respectful of your colleagues and don't share your germs with them. Take some time off to recover. Do not come into work when you are contagious. You are no good to anyone when you are sick. Also remember, that just because it is easy for you to recover from an illness does not mean your coworker can recover just as easily. Your coworkers tank you for staying home when sick.