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The latest on how to behave at work

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in Office Politics,Workplace Communication

Office rules are constantly evolving as new technology and trends show up in the workplace. Forbes career and leadership writer Susan Adams offers an updated list of business etiquette.

• Treat cubicles like offices. Knock before you enter and ask if it’s a good time to talk.

• Call ahead. In­­stead of showing up unannounced at a colleague’s office or cubicle to chat, call or email to set an ap­­point­­ment first. Ask what time would be good for them.

• Avoid voice mail. If you know someone is out, send an email instead. And don’t send an email at odd hours. Save it for the workday.

• Email employees only during the workweek. Don’t send emails—especially to-dos—on the weekends.

• Twenty-four hours is an acceptable response time to the boss’s weekend emails. If your boss ignores the previous rule, don’t feel like you have to reply immediately. You can give it a day. Set boundaries around your time.

• Leave phones and headphones at your desk. Tuning out the world with headphones or by checking email suggests you want to be left alone, but hallways and elevators can be social or collaborative spaces. Use them as such.

• Eating other people’s food is stealing. Don’t take things that don’t belong to you from the fridge.

• Dress to impress. You may not need a suit, but put on something nicer than an old T-shirt.

— Adapted from “The New Rules of Business Etiquette,” Susan Adams, Forbes.

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