Returning to work etiquette

Written by Bri Marshall
On February 22, 2024


While organizations shift to a hybrid capacity or fully on-site, organizations have asked their employees to dust off those virtual tendencies and shift back into a professional setting. Although many of the skills being taught seem to be common knowledge, some standards have slipped after years of working remotely. I guess it’s time to change out of our comfy sweatpants and into our slacks as the way organizations across the country shift their working models once again.  

If you just need a refresher or are new to on-site work, here are some general tips to get you started on the right track. 


1. Punctuality and Time Management – Being on time is not only a sign of professionalism but also reflects your commitment to your place of work. Make sure you arrive on time and are prepared for your day or first meeting.

    • Pro tip – This is for everyone but may be particularly helpful if you are a hybrid worker, check your calendar the night before and gather everything you will need. This ensures a smooth, non-stressful morning. Also, it’s always the worst idea to get gas in the morning. Do yourself a favor and get it the night before.  

2. Respect and Professionalism – Respect is the foundation of workplace etiquette. Treat everyone, regardless of their position, with courtesy and professionalism. Be sure to use appropriate language and remember to refrain from using any slang or disrespectful terms. Make sure to watch your body language. Facial expressions, sitting up straight, etc. can either show your colleagues that you’re engaged or be an obvious giveaway that you are anything but. This may seem like a no-brainer, but remember, while in person, you need to be professional, you can’t just turn off your camera.  

      • Pro tip – while many organizations are returning to hybrid, a lot of your co-workers may still be taking calls virtually. Be respectful of those in the office who are still working hybrid. Watch your noise level, rent your rooms in advance so there are no double bookings, and be professional if you’re walking in the background of a call.  

3. Professional Appearance and Etiquette – Maintaining a professional appearance is important in the workplace. Make sure to adhere to your office dress code and maintain good personal hygiene. Try to refrain from wearing strong fragrances. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed and only dressing from the top up.  

    • Pro tip – they once said to dress for the job you want, not the one you currently have. Try that and see what happens!  

4. Clean Up – Remember that your job does not have people around to clean up after you. Make sure you are cleaning up any messes you may make, whether in the kitchen or at your workspace, no one wants to see your mess. Be courteous to all and respect your place of work, leaving it better than you found it.  

Returning to work and presenting yourself in a professional manner is incredibly important but doesn’t need to be daunting. We have all gotten used to our comfy, at-home setups, be cognizant and respectful of your co-workers and follow these simple tips and you’re already setting yourself up for success!