When you attend a large business event or a small in-office luncheon, you may be expected to wear a name badge. Whether it has a magnetic backing, a pin backing, or a clip, it can be confusing to know where it should be placed. Some may say a name tag should be worn on the left, others say it belongs on the right. Others may say it needs to be worn on the lapel. What is the right name tag etiquette?
Why do some people put their name badge on the left?
The main reason many people place their business name tag on the left is a simple one. Most people are right-handed. This makes the process of pinning the name badge to your shirt much easier. To the right-handed individual, it feels more natural to put the name tag on the left. However, etiquette suggests this is not the correct way to wear a name badge and it could even be detrimental at business events, parties, or other meetings designed to promote networking.
Why should you put your name badge on the right?
There is one good reason to always wear name tags on the right side of your body: introductions. As you reach out to shake someone’s hand when you are first introduced, it’s your right hand that is extended to the other person. When you do this, it increases the visibility of the right-hand side of your chest where the name badge is attached. The person is easily and quickly able to read the name badge as they can clearly see your name.
As you extend your arm for a handshake, their eyes naturally look toward the movement of your hand. Then, their gaze moves upward to meet your eyes. As their gaze is moving from your hand to your eyes, they will naturally see your name tag with your name displayed. If the name tag is on your left, it is not in the natural field of vision. They may hear your name as you introduce yourself, but without a visual clue, they may have a more difficult time remembering it.
Memorability is a crucial element whether you are introducing yourself to potential clients, attending a networking event, or trying to make a good first impression at a dinner party. It’s also useful if your name has an unusual or complicated spelling. Most people don’t like to ask another person how their name is spelled.
The Difficulty Pinning a Name Tag on the Right Side
If you are right-handed, it may feel more natural to pin the name tag on your left. It’s more difficult to pin in on the right. There are some ways to simplify this process and make it easier for left-handed and right-handed individuals. Magnetic name tags make placing and removing name badges from either side more comfortable and easier. The magnets do not damage clothing by poking small holes in delicate fabrics and they fasten securely. In some settings, lanyards are a convenient option that doesn’t require placing a name badge on either side.
Should all badges be worn on the right?
Proper etiquette suggests that all name tags be worn on the right side of the body. However, other badges and items like lapel pins are to be worn on the left side of the body. Lapel pins are designed to wear on the left, near the heart. Wearing a lapel pin is a sign of respect and dignity. Other badges like a Remembrance badge worn in respect of the armed forces should be worn on the left. It’s actually considered disrespectful to wear these types of non-name badges on the right.
Following Name Badge Etiquette
Now that you know why name tags should be worn on the right, you don’t have to worry about wearing them wrong ever again. If you are heading out to work, a business event, or for networking, your name tag goes on the right. Lapel pins and other badges designed to show respect are worn on the left.
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