Body Language In The Office

  • By: Phil Taylor
  • Time to read: 7 min.

It’s important to understand the basics of nonverbal communication in order to thrive in the workplace. Reading body language cues is great for making your day less stressful and can help with advancing your position or making sure you’re responsive enough at meetings.

To fully understand how to read someone’s body language in the office you first have to understand a few basic principles.

In order to provide a good understanding of a person and how they behave, you need to get a baseline first. Sensing changes in behavior is one of the more reliable ways to detect when something is up.

Understand A Baseline In The Office

Understand A Baseline In The Office

A baseline is the set of observable behaviors that people typically display when they are in a calm state, free from external pressures.

Once you notice the subtle shift, the context of the circumstances and conversations should be taken into consideration when analyzing the person’s expression.

There are a lot of different factors that can affect how people react to each other in the workplace. Some of these include:

  • culture (indirect vs direct communication)
  • social norms (touching strangers or coworkers)
  • relationship status (spouse vs coworker)
  • personality traits (honest vs shy)
  • physical state

All of this should be taken into consideration when forming a baseline before analyzing anyone.

There are many factors that can affect the way people are feeling and understanding each other. In the office environment, body language can be used to tell someone how you feel about what they’re saying or how you feel about a situation as a whole, such as if they’re not happy with their work or your work.

How To Baseline A Person Body Langu...
How To Baseline A Person Body Language

Why Is Body Language Important

Why Is Body Language Important

Body language is important in the workplace for a number of reasons. For one thing, it can be used to help understand what someone’s thinking without having to ask them directly- which comes in handy when you’re trying to save time during meetings.

It also helps with leadership because a good leader who knows how to read people’s body language well can better understand their employees and make more accurate decisions about what’s going on with them internally.

What Is Body Language In The Workplace

What Is Body Language In The Workplace

Body language can be a useful tool to help you communicate better in the workplace. It can help you to understand how other people are feeling or what they are thinking.

If we don’t know how to do this, we might end up making mistakes and offending people. This could be even more damaging if it’s done unintentionally as we often won’t notice that anything has happened.

It’s important for us all to get better at reading body language so that we can avoid any misunderstandings and keep our relationships with colleagues and clients healthy.

Body language plays a big role in how people communicate. It can mean the difference between being seen as approachable and being viewed as rude.

Body language is a great way to convey your message to an audience in a better way than just using words.

It is important for people who deal with customers or clients on a regular basis. Body language can help you get your message across without having to say anything at all, which will lead to fewer misunderstandings and more clarity in the workplace.

A note here is that 66% of communication is nonverbal.

What Is Positive Body Language In The Workplace

What Is Positive Body Language In The Workplace

Positive body language is a way of communicating with others without using words. This can be demonstrated by smiling, maintaining eye contact, staying upbeat, and being honest with gestures. Just take a look at the picture above these guys are really in sink with each other you can tell by the way they are smiling and mirroring each other.

When you display positive body language, people gravitate towards you, they mirror your behavior and want to be on your team.

In the workplace, positive body language can have a significant impact on your relationships with co-workers, bosses, and customers. It shows that you are an approachable person that is easy to talk to.

It also shows that you are competent and valuable to your employer which may make them want to keep you around for a long time or promote you within the company.

There are a few things you can do today in order to start displaying positive body language.

  1. Smile as you walk into a room (not a fake smile people can tell this a mile off)
  2. Keep your hands open and around your heart and stomach.
  3. Greet people with a good handshake not to firm not to week.
  4. Smile from the eyes.
  5. Tilt your head when someone is speaking (show interest)
  6. Stand tall.
  7. Keeping your hands in your pockets is not recommended.
  8. Keep your head held high.
  9. Keep your back straight when sitting.
  10. Lean forward when someone makes a point you agree with if seated.
  11. Keep good eye contact, not too much around three seconds, and break.

Positive body language can help you become more confident. It does this by making you feel better about yourself and what you are doing in your life.

Positive body language in the workplace also helps build trust and connections as it displays social intelligence.

At the end of the day, you’ll get the most out of this article by observing your own body language and how it speaks to others.

Don’t wait for someone to ask how you feel show them, improving body language is a must.

How Body Language Is Used In The Workplace

How Body language Is Used In The Workplace

Body language can be used in many different ways. If you are trying to convince a client that your product is good, you can use open and honest gestures.

You can build a lot of rapport with new people by using good positive body language cues.

Picking up on your colleague’s body language displays will allow you to understand what they are really thinking and avoid any misunderstandings.

Body language is a good indicator of what someone is feeling inside, so picking up on less-verbal cues like hand movements or cadence can also help you better follow a conversation in order to fully understanding it and negate any issues without having to verbally highlight them.

Reading your boss’s mood is always a useful skill to have.

In a workplace environment, it’s important to be aware of how you may be communicating with others through your non-verbal cues and gestures as well as the implications this may have for you and your team.

If you want to understand the basics of how to interpret body language check out this article.

Aggressive Body Language In The Workplace

Aggressive Body Language In The Workplace

Aggressive body language is a form of non-verbal communication where the person uses their body to intimidate, threaten, or pressure another person.

This behavior can be seen as a form of bullying in the workplace.

It includes behaviors such as standing too close, shouting in someone’s face, invading personal space, and any other form of physical intimidation.

This type of communication is often associated with unprofessionalism and should not be tolerated in any work setting.

However, it is also important to remember that everyone communicates differently and this behavior may not be intended to be aggressive.

If you feel anxious or uncomfortable at work, it’s always important to speak to your HR representative. If you feel like they’re a negative influence, or that you can’t approach them without fear of retribution, it’s always a great idea to start keeping notes of times when that person has been aggressive towards you and witnesses in the room. Keep a detailed diary.

It may be hard to hear, but if you are feeling trapped at work and think you’ll never find an exit strategy, then you should start looking for another job. No one should have to feel intimidated in a professional setting.

Negative Body Language In The Workplace

Negative Body Language In The Workplace

The five most common types of negative body language are scowling, frowning, eye-rolling, sarcasm and rolling one’s eyes.

Scowling is when someone is angry and glaring at you with a tight mouth. This can be an intimidating look that makes people uncomfortable. It’s also a risk factor for anger management issues and people who are prone to violence.

Frowning is when someone has a negative facial expression such as sadness or unhappiness.

Sarcasm is the use of words that convey an insult or taunt in order to express scorn or mockery.

Eye-rolling is when someone does this while looking at the speaker as if they find them unimportant, ridiculous, disbelief or annoyance.

All of the behaviors above can be viewed as passive-aggressive, body language tells.

It is worth noting how often these things tend to happen in order to get a sense of whether or not this person likes you.

Body Language In The Office Speaks Louder Than Words

Body Language In The Office Speaks Louder Than Words

Body language in the office speaks louder than words. You don’t need to be a body language expert to detect some of the signals that are being given.

A person can tell how you feel about them or a situation by looking at your body language gestures. They will interpret body language cues naturally.

Listed below are some of the common ways that people communicate their thoughts and feelings through their body language.

  • Blushing
  • Casual Dress: 
  • Clenched Jaw
  • Deep Breathing
  • Direct Eye Contact
  • Ear Blushing
  • Eye Blink Rate (Rapid)
  • Eyebrow Flash
  • Fear Smile
  • Finger Pointing
  • Firm Handshake
  • Fist Bumping
  • Flicking The Hair
  • Foot Fidgeting
  • Hand Clenching or Fist Clenching
  • Coffee Cup Barrier or Handbag Barrier
  • Hands In Pockets
  • Hug
  • Leg Bounce:
  • Foot Fidgeting
  • Leg Spreading
  • Loud Voice
  • Nail Biting
  • Nervous Smile
  • Pacing
  • Palm Down Displays or Palm Power
  • Quick Nod
  • Scratching
  • Talking Through The Hand:
  • Hand to Mouth
  • Arm Barrier
  • Arm Crossing
  • Arm Blocking
  • Stiff Arm and Curved Arm
  • Arm Cross With Clenched Fists

There are many body language gestures we need to consider when analyzing people in the office.


Reading other people’s body language is not always easy, but it can give you a competitive edge and help to better express your feelings. It’s kind of like a superpower that nobody else knows about. The more you practice observing, the better you will get.

If you have enjoyed reading about body language at the office, you might also be interested in the books on how to read body language cues for further study. We also found this YouTube clip helpful for learning more about body language.