Recently, we reached out to Rachel Wagner about etiquette for a modern workplace. During our first interview, Rachel gave etiquette tips about success in a coworking environment (see that blog post here!) In part two of this two-part blog series, Rachel shares some great tips for success working with your employer and coworkers.
What is a sincere way to show your employer appreciation without purchasing gifts that might fall short?
One of the best ways is to participate as a volunteer in community service events that the company supports. This show loyalty and support to the employer and the company. Other ideas include the following: showing up on time for work and for meetings; offering him/her concert or sporting event tickets that you aren’t able to use; show thoughtfulness if they’ve had a rough week (ill child, death in the family, etc.) by sending over a meal or offer to run errands; offer to take on a task voluntarily at work that will lighten his/her load.
What are your thoughts on sharing a personal cell phone number with clients vs. using a personal cell phone for employer?
It can be valuable for the employer to have the person’s personal cell number for emergency or crisis management situations. Several factors come into play regarding a client having the personal cell number: if you work one-on-one with the client; if you are in an industry such as public relations or mortgage loans that may necessitate after-hours and weekend communication.
What about coworkers? Would that be different?
Since fewer people have land line phones at their residence, it has become more common to share personal cell phone numbers, But, that doesn’t mean that all coworkers need the number. Use discretion. Think which coworkers you are closest to and who needs to contact you outside the office.
How can you professionally answer work text messages?
First, you must know if the coworker prefers texts messages versus email. If texts are preferred (only for short messages), write as if it’s an email. For example, don’t abbreviate *ur* for your and *u* for you. Write out the words. Use appropriate capitalization and punctuation. If a lengthier conversation is needed, write an email or pick up the phone instead. Also, respect the work-life balance of those you are texting. Some people like to detach from their devices after 8 p.m. and don’t want to check them before 7 a.m. or on Sunday afternoon. I recommend discussing this topic with the work team/department so that everyone has the same expectations of when they are to be tethered to work texts. And, it will also depend on the job and position (Those in certain jobs, industries may need to be on call 24/7 for texting, such as some healthcare professionals, public relations professionals and others.)
What is your take on work/life balance as a millennial with multiple jobs?
Millennials often work two jobs to make ends meet…perhaps designing websites by day and bartending by night. It makes it challenging to have a work/life balance, although Millennials value this balance very much. In these situations, they must look for windows of flexibility to still be involved in the community with organizations they care about and also find time for family and friends.
More about Rachel Wagner, Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant
Rachel Wagner is a business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker specializing in etiquette and protocol issues facing today’s business professional. Rachel is trained and licensed as a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant by the renowned Protocol School of Washington® in Washington, D.C. She is the founder and president of Oklahoma-based Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. Armed with over two decades of experience as a teacher and workshop speaker, Rachel provides professionals with the business etiquette tools needed to communicate with confidence, presence and influence. You can learn more about her experience here.