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UK office etiquette guide for international students

These office dos and don'ts will prepare you for your internship


Are you taking part in an internship in an office environment? Make sure you check out our UK office etiquette guide for international students. This guide is ideal for you, if you have secured, or are looking to secure, an internship abroad.

Understanding the dos and don’ts of the office, that you are going to be completing your internship in is very important. Of course, every office is different, however if you follow our guidelines of UK office etiquette then you’ll be a perfect fit and who knows, you might even land a job offer and a permanent position in the company.


Things you should not do in the office

  • Don’t be noisy or make irritating noises (including humming and tapping) that may distract others from doing their work.
  • Don’t be a teacher’s pet. It is advisable not to treat your manager (and those in higher positions) with more respect than anyone else. Just completing your tasks and being yourself is a much better way to impress your manager during your work experience placement.
  • Don’t take part in office gossip or bullying, as this can hurt other people’s feelings, instead you should be kind to everyone you meet and offer to help them where possible.
  • Don’t steal anything, for example people’s desk space, or any items on their desk, without asking them first if you can borrow it.

Things you should do in the office

  • Do be considerate and polite to everyone in the office. It is common for UK offices to have a friendly atmosphere where members of the team greet each other and make small talk. When being considerate, remember the phrase ‘treat others the way you would want to be treated.’
  • Do use your ‘inside voice’, which means don’t speak too loudly because most UK offices are open plan and speaking too loudly could distract other people.
  • Do dress appropriately; most UK offices go for either smart casual or casual smart work attire. If you aren’t certain what to wear before you start your internship, make sure to ask your manager.
  • Do stay at home if you are sick. With open plan offices it is very easy for colds and coughs to spread. So if you are feeling under the weather during your work experience placement, call your manager and let them know that you cannot come in today because you are ill.


Twin have been providing professional internships to international students for over 15 years, so you can rest assured that we will find you your perfect internship. Discover your ideal internship in London or Dublin and contact us today!