Why you should always say hello to your colleagues in the morning

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Anna Brech
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Hands up who slopes into the office in the morning, Bridget Jones-style, in an effort not to be seen?

Or perhaps it’s some ungodly hour and you can’t quite bring yourself to say hi to your colleagues – yet.

We’ve all worked in that place where employees don’t appear to greet one another when they arrive, and it’s a strangely unnerving experience.

On the one hand, we all have busy lives and a simple “hello” or “how are you” shouldn’t matter that much. They’re pretty generic platitudes, after all.

But at the same time, it can be a quietly toxic habit to fall into. In a new post on his careers advice website Jobacle (reported via Business Insider), author Andrew G. Rosen explains why this is. 

“Joe and Stacey work next to each other, “ he writes. “They sit no more than five feet apart.  Even though they often arrive at work before the rest of the team, there’s no communication between them. Only silence.”

Rosen identifies what he describes as an “alarming trend” not to say “good morning” to your work colleagues, adding, “Even a casual nod and mumble would be a lot better than the nothing that’s now occurring at far too many work sites”.

Rosen argues that saying a simple “good morning” is free, easy and fosters a basic level of wellbeing in the workplace.

“Like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, these two little words also go a long way towards improving communication and the overall atmosphere,” he writes.

Doing so shows humanity and relaxes hierarchies, creating an ethos “where everyone from the CEO to the mail clerk gets to share in a friendly two-second exchange”.

As well as being a basic interpersonal skill, Rosen says that greeting your colleagues will make things easier for you a bit further down the line.

“Saying ‘good morning’ makes things less awkward when you inevitably have to address your co-worker later in the day,” he advises. “Start the day off on the right foot and avoid potential stressors later in the day.”

So the next time you’re too tired or stressed or distracted to say hi to your team, think again.

It’s just a little word – and it makes all the difference.

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.