Etiquette expert Amanda King reveals ONE thing you should never say to your colleagues in the office

Etiquette expert reveals the ONE greeting you should never say to your colleagues in the office – and almost everyone in Australia does it

  • Etiquette expert Amanda King says you should never say ‘hey’ to colleagues
  • The casual greeting is not appropriate in the workplace, she explained
  • More people are being casual with their bosses following move to online working

The increased use of online tools like Slack and WhatsApp has lead to the greeting being used more often, but Amanda King, an etiquette specialist from the Australian Finishing School isn't a fan

The increased use of online tools like Slack and WhatsApp has lead to the greeting being used more often, but Amanda King, an etiquette specialist from the Australian Finishing School isn’t a fan

You should never greet your colleagues using ‘hey’ according to experts who say the casual salutation blurs the line between professional and social relationships.

The increased use of online tools like Slack and WhatsApp has led to the greeting being used more often, but Amanda King, an etiquette specialist from the Australian Finishing School, isn’t a fan.

Speaking to Nine Honey Ms King said the digitised workplace has made employees behave more casually.

This was highlighted On Reddit when a man revealed an exchange between himself and his boss. 

In the conversation the man greeted his superior with ‘hey’ which triggered an undesireable response.

‘Hi Shreyas, my name is Sandeep. Please don’t [use] the word ‘hey’. It’s offensive for me,’ the boss replied.

‘If you cannot remember my name, simply use ‘hi’. Other words you should never use professionally: ‘Dude’, ‘man’, only ‘hello’, ‘hi there’, if you are not targeting a wide audience in a mail to senior [people] to you. ‘Chap’ or ‘Chick’. Thanks,’ he continued.

And Ms King agrees with the boss, saying that ‘once in conversation we advise good morning or afternoon’.

But the staff member didn’t take too well to the dressing down and explained that the boss will be greeted with ‘hey’ if he continues to message him on his personal number.

He added if he wanted to talk to him over email or LinkedIn her would be happy to be more professional.

You should never greet your colleagues using 'hey' according to experts who say the casual salutation blurs the line between professional and familiar relationships

You should never greet your colleagues using ‘hey’ according to experts who say the casual salutation blurs the line between professional and familiar relationships

The people of Reddit agreed with the employee, noting they always use casual greetings on the job.

Poll

Do you think using ‘hey’ as a greeting to your boss is appropriate?

  • Yes, it is totally fine! 0 votes
  • Only if you speak often. 0 votes
  • No, never. 0 votes

Now share your opinion

Many asked how ‘hey’ is considered unprofessional when ‘hi’ isn’t.

With one explaining the ‘hey’ was acceptable because the pair had been having a conversation and had a close working relationship.

While another said the boss was more offended by being dragged into the same ‘class’ as his staff with the causal term.

Ms King explained: ‘A greeting helps establish the tone for the remainder of the conversation and can determine the impact your communication has on the receiver. Respect their name and do not start with nicknames.’

‘You may start your email with ”Hi,’ in most professional situations unless you need to be explicitly formal in the communication. We recommend in formal situations where you might not know the receiver on a first name basis, use ‘Mr’ or’ Ms’ along with the recipient’s surname.’

Ms King says it is great to see people have become more comfortable and confident in their workplaces but basic etiquette should still be adhered to.   

Etiquette exposed: The email clichés to stop using NOW 

‘As per my last email’

The overused email statement ‘as per my last email’ is deemed to be a slightly aggressive way to highlight something has been said before. 

Instead Sue suggested writing: ‘Apologies if you missed the previous email. Can you please let me know…’

This suitable alternative is not only far more polite but will likely generate a swifter response.

The terms ‘as stated below’, ‘kind regards’ and ‘let me clarify’ can also come off as somewhat rude.   

‘Just checking in’

Those who turn to the ‘just checking in’ cliché are often in a hurry to receive a response from a receiver who they believe is ignoring their emails.

Sue recommends highlighting the urgency of the matter and explaining that a quick reply would be appreciated.

She suggested writing: ‘This is now an urgent matter and if you cannot complete it by xx/xx/xx, please let me know immediately’.

‘Sorry for being unclear’ 

The term ‘sorry for being unclear’ often begs the question whether the sender is being sincere or not.

Sue suggested: ‘I understand that my original email may have been confusing. Would you like me to call you? Alternatively, would you be able to let me know what extra information you need? Thanks in advance.’

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