Business etiquette is the set of manners and social standards considered respectful in the business world. Business etiquette comes into play in a number of situations, including when dealing with coworkers, clients, service providers and superiors. Although there are countless situations that involve business etiquette -- from conference calls to client dinners -- most forms of business etiquette can be grouped into one of several different types.
Hiring etiquette deals with the conduct of both employers and prospective employees during the hiring process. This form of etiquette deals with such subjects as when and how a job seeker should contact a company that is hiring, how both parties are supposed to behave during a job interview and the proper method by which the two parties negotiate the conditions of employment, such as salary, benefits and duties.
The standards governing how employees act in a workplace fall under the heading of workplace etiquette. Workplace etiquette refers to how employees interact with each other and how employees conduct themselves independently of one another. For example, this type of etiquette spells out how members of a company address one another and how each member is required to dress for work.
Customer etiquette is a set of rules for interacting with customers in a business setting. This type of etiquette primarily deals with how companies should communicate with customers. The communication can take many forms, including face-to-face communication at the point of sale, customer service by phone or email, or even written information provided to customers when they purchase a product or service.
Social etiquette in business refers to etiquette used during professional socializing. For example, members of a company must observe a number of rules of conduct when taking a client to dinner. For multinational businesses, this social etiquette can be tricky, as what is considered polite in one culture may not be considered polite in another.
One type of business etiquette that is constantly evolving is that associated with the use of communication devices, such as phones and computers. This branch of etiquette outlines when a person can use these devices -- for example, when a person can take a call during a meeting -- and how people should use them -- for example, how to phrase an email to your boss.
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