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Here's How Young Professionals are Taught Workplace Etiquettes as they Head Back to Offices

After four years of remote work, employers are cracking down on office etiquette.
Cover Image Source: Workplace Etiquette Workshops | Unsplash | Photo by Annie Spratt
Cover Image Source: Workplace Etiquette Workshops | Unsplash | Photo by Annie Spratt

As the world marks the fourth anniversary of the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, it has become evident that the impact of this global health crisis has forever altered our way of life. From work from home during the height of the pandemic to the hybrid models that gained popularity later on as well as trends and tools that encouraged professionals to become digital nomads, several factors have reshaped work culture. The shift to remote work, once a rarity reserved for emergencies, has become the norm that millions of people are now preferring while looking for employment.

Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Before the pandemic completely shook up the global order, only 6% of Americans were working remotely, but by 2022, that number had surged to around 18%. This means that approximately 19 million in the United States alone were added to the remote workforce. While many employees found themselves thriving in remote work environments, the transition back to office-based work following return-to-office mandates has not been without challenges.

The widespread adoption of hybrid work models, blending remote and in-office work, emerged as a compromise for many organizations seeking to accommodate varying employee preferences. However, as employees began returning to office spaces, it became evident that certain undesirable habits had followed them back from their remote work setups.

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Anna Shvets
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Anna Shvets

Recognizing the need to cultivate a professional and harmonious workplace environment, a burgeoning industry centered around workplace etiquette has emerged. According to a survey by Resume Builder, 45% of companies already offer etiquette training to their employees, with an additional 18% planning to implement such programs in 2024.

New York-based firm Beaumont Etiquette reported a staggering 100% increase in training requests from employers over the past two years.

When asked about the specific skills desired in these training sessions, survey respondents emphasized the importance of interpersonal communication, with 78% prioritizing "making polite conversation."

Apart from that, 75% prioritized "dressing professionally," while 69% underscored the significance of "writing professional emails."

'Coffee Badging' the trending response to return-to-work|Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels

While workplace etiquette training addresses universal concerns, it also recognizes the unique challenges faced by younger professionals, particularly those belonging to Generation Z. Many Gen Zers entered the workforce during the pandemic and found themselves navigating the complexities of full-time employment through virtual platforms and partially occupied office spaces.

To support the transition of young professionals into the workplace, some employers have initiated specialized training programs tailored specifically for entry-level employees. Consulting firms like Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and EY offer comprehensive soft skills training for incoming junior hires.

Moreover, educational institutions are adapting their curricula to equip undergraduates with essential workplace skills, including workplace etiquette.

Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels

It's essential to recognize that workplace etiquette is not exclusive to Gen Z; rather, it is a shared responsibility across all demographics. Only 10% of respondents from the survey indicated that etiquette training was exclusively targeted at Gen Z employees, while 60% stated that it would be mandatory for all employees.

In the post-pandemic era, mastering the art of workplace etiquette is proving to be as essential as technical proficiency in ensuring career advancement and organizational growth.