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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.


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