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Professional Work Habits to Adopt

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 2 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Professional Work Habits To Adopt

The importance of good work etiquette can be characterised by your adoption of professional work habits. Not only will your colleagues find it easier to work with you, your bosses will be impressed with your attitude and you will be more relaxed and efficient.

Professional work habits take many different course, although they are all dependant on you appreciating that by working in an organised, professional fashion, you can work smarter without necessarily working harder.

Here are some suggestions for professional work habits to adopt that will make your life easier and your job more enjoyable, not to mention more productive.

Use a To Do List

We all know that a ‘To Do’ list is a good idea, but how many of us actually use one every day? It’s all well and good to buy a lovely notebook and write the first day really neatly, just like you did at school, but it takes some commitment in the first instance, although soon it will be a habit that you wouldn’t want to break anyway.

The best way to get started with a ‘To Do’ list is to write a list of important tasks, a couple of which you have already completed. Write the list and then have the please of crossing out a couple of tasks you have already achieved. Get used to spending five or ten minutes each morning, or evening if you prefer, checking your diary and writing a list of what needs to be achieved each day.

Return Calls and Emails Within One Working Day

Although many of us will remember when it was perfectly acceptable to allow three working days between communication, the rapid implementation for email for business communication means that, unless you are on holiday (more on that later) you should reply within one working day.

Mobile phones also mean that people expect to be able to get hold of you. That does not mean that you have to have your phone switched on all the time (far from it) but you must call people back within one working day when they have left you a message.

Leave Concise Messages

You may feel foolish doing this, but it will be worth it in the long run. In front of a mirror, practice leaving messages to your clients and colleagues. Too many people leave silly or unprofessional messages because they get flustered as soon as they hear the beeps. Learn how to leave a clear, friendly professional message and you won’t get stuck again.

Set Up ‘Out of Office’ Emails

If you are going on holiday, will be out at meetings all day or out of contact, set up an ‘out of office’ email so clients are automatically alerted as soon as they email you. This stops people getting frustrated at your lack of reply.

Record a Professional Voicemail

Now you have learnt to leave a decent message on your clients phone, make sure you record one for your own mobile and desk answer phone. Even if it is only really your friends that call you, just one client hearing a jokey (or worse) message, or indeed your boss and your professional reputation could be lost for quite some time.

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