Mistakes in the office savoir-vivre that you optimize everyday.

The business etiquette is an internationally recognized set of principles and proper behaviors in professional and social life. These principles are used to create, maintain and normalize interpersonal relations in business situations [1]. However, it is not always in the business situation that we know how to behave. It happens that our behavior is contrary to the accepted office label.

Savoir-vivre at work

What are the most common violations of good manners at work?

Compliments regarding the appearance

In the business situation there is no room for compliments regarding beauty or elegance. However, we can praise the accomplishments of the collaborator as much as possible.

Wrong answer to compliments

We should thank for the compliment and not deny it. For example, A: “Well done”, B: “Well, what’s wrong with me, as usual.”

Criticism by witnesses

Criticism (which should be constructive and polite) should be done in four eyes, without witnesses.

To be late

Not counting the importance of punctuality at work or business meetings is not only unprofessional, but also contrary to the principles of bon ton.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum during a business meeting is considered inelegant.

Wish: “Cheers” after sneezing

To wish “Cheers”, if someone sneezes during an official, business situation? Well, no, because then we also pay attention to the person’s faux pas.

Kissing in the hand

Less and less, but it still happens. In a business situation it should not be practiced at all.

No eye contact

During the business situation, we look at the co-talkers in the eye. This shows self-confidence and sincere intentions.

Holding hands in pockets

It is considered a faux pas (even in America, where it is very popular)

Inappropriate sitting position

Błędy w biurowym savoir-vivre, które popełniasz codziennie.

Items considered to be disrespectful are: sitting in semi-recumbent position, putting a leg on the leg in the shape of a four-piece (pictured from the right), sitting apart.

Reading during a meeting or presentation

If during the public speech we read the text, then the presented material may be perceived as boring and monotonous. This behavior also prevents eye contact with the listeners [2].

And what mistakes do you usually encounter in the office savoir-vivre? Do they bother you? Is the label at work meaningless to you? We are waiting for your comments.


[1] I. Kamińska-Radomska, Kultura biznesu. Normy i formy, Warszawa 2017

[2] Patrz.: I. Kamińska-Radomska, Kultura biznesu. Normy i formy, Warszawa 2017; P. Post, P. Post, Vademecum dobrych obyczajów w biznesie, Poznań – Warszawa 2005; A. M. Sabath, Savoir-vivre w biznesie. Nowoczesne rady na miarę XXI wieku, Warszawa 2002.

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