Skip to main content

Hey Guys, Please Stop Saying "Hey, Guys" at Work

Hey, guys! How are you doing today? Most of us use this phrase every day without giving it a second thought.

But hold on guys, because the Diversity Council of Australia has just launched a #wordsatwork campaign that kindly suggests all the Sheilas and Blokes at work stop using the phrase "guys" on the job!

Why? Because saying "guys" is exclusionary to half the modern workforce. Check it out, ladies:

"Research has told us for years how language cuts people out or cuts them down, and yet it still happens," [Diversity Council of Australia Chair David Morrison] says in a DCA promotional video. "When it comes to words at work, we've all got to walk the talk."

And walking the talk means not using the word "guys" at work anymore because it's a gendered word when half of a work team might be comprised of women.

So, what should employees say instead of "Hey, you guys"? Two suggested possibilities include "Hi, everyone" and "Hi, team."

Hmm. "Hi, everyone" works very well, but "Hi, team"? Dunno. To my American ear, it sounds too impersonal, like somebody is yelling, "Hey, you!" from a passing car window. I'd rather somebody ask, "How ya doin'?" as they walk past without waiting to hear my answer, but maybe that's just me. Maybe we can say, "Hi" or "Hey" and call it good? And what about "bro"?

Mr. Morrison makes an interesting point, though, and I'm as guilty as anyone else in using the phrase "Hey, guys." Test it out for yourself. How many times a day do you utter one of the many variations of "Hey, guys!" both on, and off, the clock? And do you think it's time to stop? Is "guys" an inappropriate word in the modern workplace? Let me know what you guys think. Oops.


Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…