Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 5, 1996

EAP: Civility belongs in the office

There have been various reports in the media recently about a lack of civility in today's society. That occasionally has carried over to the ISU work environment. Employees have complained of actions that run from starting the day with a request or demand rather than a friendly greeting to gossiping and temperamental behavior.

Following are a few tips to help keep common courtesy in the office:

  • Offer a smile and "hello" to co-workers.

  • Say "please" and "thank you."

  • Interrupt only with permission (for example, ask if you may enter an office; leave a note in front of someone who is on a telephone asking him/her to call).

  • If a co-worker approaches your desk and you are engrossed in your work or on the telephone, quickly nod hello, and either direct him/her to take a seat or say when you will get back to him/her.

  • Identify yourself when you answer the telephone.

  • Speak in modulated tones and eliminate obscene or sexist language.

  • Ask permission to use spaces and items that are not yours.

  • Clean up after yourself.

  • Demonstrate courtesy and respect.

    Submitted by: Charlene Gooch

    (For sources for this article, call 4-5069)

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    Revised 7/5/96