You have landed a new job or moved to a new company. There are a few things you need to know. They may outline the dress code in the employee handbook and manual, having knowledge beforehand will work to your own benefit.

The dress code is a set of rules that you must abide by while at work. Every organisation determines its own dress code. When reporting to an organisation where you are unsure of its dress code, try to be as conservative as possible. You can also look at the dress code of employees in organisations in the same industry. This should not kill your individual style thus match it as much as possible to dress code of the organisation. After all, you do not want to stand out for the wrong reasons.

Your behaviour at work will determine the relationships you will create and maintain at the workplace. Be respectful at all times, even during conflict situations, and avoid unnecessary confrontations. Respect the privacy of your co-workers and clients and do not gossip about them or spread rumours. Jokes and pranks that point to people’s personal life and their bodies should be avoided. You can have cordial interaction without being rude, aggressive, or loud. Keep your out of work issues out of work, take care of them so that they do not find their way into the workplace. Avoid spending company time on social media. These forms of distractions eat up into company time and you end up not covering your work in a timely manner.

Keeping time is one sign of how respectful you are about your time and other people’s time. Avoid being late to work or meetings. Being late is one of the fastest ways to insult someone’s intelligence. In the events where are you running late because of something outside of your control, call ahead and let them know so they can plan. Same case applies to when you cannot report working because of unavoidable circumstances. Call and let your boss know, this include calling colleagues who will have to take up your tasks when not available.

Communication is key in all the interactions you will have. Be clear about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Make sure that the other person understands your message through thoughtful and considered responses. Listen and make sure you understand what is being said. When a colleague or employee does not respond well to your questions, consider whether there is something else going on that needs addressing before continuing with this approach. Keep communication channels open by using various platforms for sending messages.

It is easy to say that you will handle what you do, but it is much harder to act that way. As an employee, you have a responsibility to your employer and fellow employees. You should always be accountable for your actions, whether good or bad, and when things go wrong, the first person who needs to own up is almost always the person in charge (you). It’s also important that you avoid making excuses when things go wrong or commit mistakes. Instead of blaming others or circumstances out of your control, take ownership, especially where you are in charge.

You should respect the opinions of others and their property. This includes not stealing their ideas or items and being careful with what you say to other people in person or via email. You also should respect confidentiality at work, as well as privacy and personal space, so that employees can get along without being distracted by each other’s personal problems. Respect the work of others so they won’t feel discouraged from doing good work. Avoid interrupting them while they are working on projects if it is not an emergency, because this could cause them to lose focus on their tasks and miss deadlines. Show your respect for time by showing up at meetings on time or earlier, leaving work at the right time and taking holiday days when scheduled.

Confidentiality agreements are important in a professional environment, and breaching confidentiality can be serious. Confidential information is any information that is not known to the public and that could benefit one party over another. Keep confidential information confidential and do not discuss these matters with family, friends and other people who are outside the confidentiality circle. Not all company information is to be available to all employees, thus there are levels of confidential information within the organisation.

Respect the boundaries of your colleagues. If you are an employee, respect the boundaries of your manager’s role and decisions. If you are a manager, respect the privacy and confidentiality of those who work for you. Respect other people’s time as well, avoid unnecessary interruptions, especially when they are busy with something important.

The qualities of dependability, reliability, trustworthiness, honesty and punctuality are qualities that are essential for anyone working in any position of authority at work. Dependability comes from being able to deliver on promises made. Reliability comes from showing up on time every day and providing consistent quality results. Trustworthiness is built by keeping confidential information private, such as e-mails and documents classified as “confidential”. Honesty means telling people how things work and not just what they want to hear. Punctuality means arriving at work when scheduled without delay. All these are good practices that ensure you conduct  yourself in a proper and professional manner.