A majority of employees believe workplace etiquette affects their career prospects, but they also think people become less courteous as they rise to the top, according to a new survey by Accountemps, a staffing company for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals that’s part of staffing giant Robert Half.
More than eight out of 10 of the workers surveyed for the poll indicated that being courteous to others has an impact on a person’s career prospects. However, 70 percent of the workers polled said they think people become less courteous as they climb the corporate ladder.
When employees were asked to name the biggest breach of workplace etiquette in an open office space, using a speakerphone or talking loudly on the phone topped the list, at 36 percent. Loitering or talking around a colleague’s desk ranked second, at 23 percent. Eating foods that have strong odors was in third place, cited by 15 percent of the survey respondents, while keeping a messy or cluttered workspace was in fourth place, at 14 percent. Leaving the phone ringer on loud was in fifth place, cited by 8 percent of the respondents.
“Workplace etiquette is about being aware of how your actions affect those around you,” said Accountemps chairman Max Messmer in a statement. “Time constraints and external pressures aren’t excuses for bad behavior. While it takes more than just good manners to rise through the ranks, displaying professional courtesy will only help your career. Open office spaces foster better collaboration, but employees should make sure their actions aren't keeping others from doing their jobs.”
The survey includes responses from more than 450 employees 18 years of age and older who work in an office environment in the U.S. The sample was of all types of workers, not just accounting and finance professionals.