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1 in 3 have been embarrassed by a colleague's behaviour, 40% wear business casual, 20% wear a suit 94% would take action if they experienced bad manners from a business, 97% consider good table manners important 40% of people who experienced good manners from a business would mention if to others, 87% believe bad language is unacceptable at work


The above results confirm that good manners in business are more than a ‘nice to have’. They also make good business sense. In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, the companies that distinguish themselves will be the ones who place a high priority on consumer and customer service.

So why are a third of people still embarrassed by colleagues’ behaviour?

Well, good etiquette is not as simple as it seems. As business executives struggle to maintain a balance between the working world and their personal lives, stress levels are reaching an all time high for many. Such pressure can lead to situations where manners are forgotten and rudeness takes over.

What’s more, it is thought that as many as 40% of all adults experience some degree of social anxiety, which can translate inadvertently into bad social skills and a poor approach to other people.

The rise of casual attire may also inspire a false sense of informality. Our survey shows that despite an increase in causal dress, good manners remain as important as ever, with table manners ranking particularly highly and swearing still unacceptable for the majority.

Many people equate bad manners with a lack of respect and an inability to handle a business situation with confidence and professionalism could be extremely expensive. Our survey shows that people on the receiving end of bad treatment are not shy about taking action. It’s particularly important for companies never to allow such an impression to take hold through any of their staff, lest the organisation loses business as a result.

Good manners are also important for personal success. Research conducted by Harvard University, The Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Institute shows that technical skills and knowledge account for only 15% of getting, keeping and advancing in a job, while 85% of job success is connected to people skills.

Good business etiquette can lead to increased opportunities for new business development, confidence in building business relationships, the ability to make awkward business situations more comfortable and being able to stay one step ahead of the competition.


  1. 115 people took part in the survey in October and November 2013.
  2. The most significant change from 2011 is a noticeable trend away from wearing suits at work.

Business Etiquette Courses

Our business etiquette courses are designed to give business people the confidence to handle a wide variety of work and social situations and represent themselves and their organisations in a consistently professional manner.

If you would like further information on how our courses can help you and your team then please contact Pamela Fay on 086 1737125 or