What is ‘bring your manners to work day’?
Bring your manners to work day is not a national holiday for the United States, but is a day set to encourage people in the workforce to be polite and kind while at work every day. This day was set in stone back in 2013 when cell phones and other mobile devices began to distract people from using their manners while on the clock. The Protocol School of Washington, the business world’s leader in etiquette, decided that the level of respect and kindness was lacking due to the increased usage of these mobile devices and that there needed to be a change. Thus, ‘bring your manners to work day’ was established and has been a recognizable day in the business world ever since.
Having good manners at work and being respectful to colleagues and superiors is very important and can go a long way. There are many benefits to being kind to others, not just at work, but in every aspect of life as well.
When is ‘bring your manners to work day’?
This nationally recognizable day is always on the first Friday in September, meaning that this year it is on September 2, 2022. However, the day of observance encourages displaying good manners at work every day, not just on this particular day.
What are the benefits of having good manners at work?
There are many great benefits to having good manners at work. Having good manners in general can make the world a better place, whether you realize it or not. When people show kindness and respectfulness at work, they can lift the spirits of those around them and help others to have a great day. Here are a few more benefits that make it worth it to bring your manners with you to work:
- You get closer with your co-workers: Friendly relationships with co-workers can get deeper when we are being kind and respectful towards others while at work. People tend to open up more about their lives, personal struggles, and share more when they are treated well.
- More apt to get a promotion or take on new responsibility: having manners and being respectful to everyone at work might be able to help you professionally. Your boss or superior might think of you for a promotion, or a more advanced role solely based on how you treat others at the office.
- Viewed as more professional: if you have good manners at work and are respectful to everyone, you might be seen as more professional than those who may not bring their manners with them to work.
How can managers promote and encourage employees to bring their manners to work?
Managers can encourage their employees to bring their manners with them to work in a few different ways. Showing by example is a great way to coach your employees on bringing their manners to work. We can reference this example of encouragement by the “monkey see, monkey do” phrase we use when speaking about children following by example. If the manager is showing respect and is using their manners at work, employees might do the same.
Another way is to have expectations set up and review them periodically, especially when a new person is hired. Letting people know upfront that being polite and kind is expected and is a great way to firmly but graciously tell them that being disrespectful is not tolerated.
Team building exercises are also ways that managers can promote bringing good manners to work. Having employees share what they consider to be good manners and as well as what is considered bad manners can influence them to evaluate and reevaluate the manners they personally use in the office. Employees can use post-it notes and white boards to share with their colleagues, as well as discuss what the employees would like to see more of in terms of good manners and what they would like to see less of regarding bad manners.
Lastly, managers can make sure that the office is a happy and productive place for people to work in. Taking employees’ constructive criticism, ideas, and opinions on how the office can better provide ways to make the space more enjoyable is a great starting point. Ensuring that your employees are happy and content in the workplace can help them to be more respectful of their co-workers and the company as a whole. Things such as having the breakroom stocked with snacks, drinks, and supplies that they might want during the day, or even sending a motivational message or email everyday can lift their spirits.
Why is it important for remote workers to still bring their manners to work?
Even though remote workers aren’t physically in the office, they should still be expected to use their manners. It is important that remote workers be respectful and kind because they are still a part of the company and are on the same level as the employees in the office. Some examples of remote manners include kind messages, responding quickly to someone that needs help or advice on their project, and using work time efficiently.
What are some examples of good manners at work?
There are so many ways to show kindness and good manners while at work, and just being conscious of our actions, words, and jokes is a great place to start. Here are some helpful tips to remember to pack the good manners with you alongside your lunch and coffee for the day:
- Listening intently: People notice when you remember small things that they say, and it can feel good to know that co-workers remember those little things.
- Holding the door open: This is a small gesture, but it shows that you are aware of others and is a great act of respect.
- Not checking your phone: Checking your phone periodically throughout the day and when you are taking a break is fine but be aware of the time and the place. For instance, when you are in a meeting either in person or remote, it can be obvious when someone is not paying attention and is looking at their phone.
- Remembering your actual manners: Saying ‘please and thank you’ can really take you far when it comes to work. Adding those small but meaningful words can really make a difference in how you carry yourself or present yourself to others.
- Respecting other cultures: Be aware and mindful of the jokes that can be made at work, and whether they are appropriate or not. Try not to offend anyone who may view things differently or has different beliefs or customs than you are a great manner to have at work.
- Acknowledging others: Complimenting co-workers on their accomplishments in the office is a great manner to have and can make them feel good about their work. Making other people happy has been said to have a turnaround effect and make you as the compliment feel good as well.
What are considered “bad manners at work,” and how can we avoid them?
Examples of bad manners at work could include things such as not being respectful of others who may have different opinions or beliefs than you, using your phone during meetings, using work time to take care of personal business, or complaining about co-workers to a superior or even another co-worker.
The list can go on and on, but being respectful while at work doesn’t have to be difficult and may improve the relationships you have with your colleagues.
Happy Days 365. Bring Your Manners To Work Day – September 3, 2021. (https://happydays365.org/bring-your-manners-to-work-day/bring-your-manners-to-work-day-september) Accessed July 29, 2022.
Living Abroad. Bring Your Manners to Work Day. (https://www.livingabroad.com/bring-your-manners-to-work-day) Accessed July 29, 2022.