Greeting Grace: Friendly attitudes in the workplace

by epi on June 26, 2012

Q: I don’t like greeting people that I don’t know well.  Is this really a “must” in the workplace?

A: Not even a smile, and maybe a “hi” as they pass by?  Remember, what goes around, comes around.  I’d be concerned that showing a totally unfriendly attitude toward your coworkers may end up isolating you.  What’s more, that person you don’t know well could turn out to be someone you really might enjoy knowing.  I’m not saying you need to cozy up to everyone you work with and treat them as your best friend.  But a simple smile and sometimes even a quick greeting will help create a more pleasant work environment for them and for you.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody June 26, 2012 at 6:26 am

I think the EPI advice is right on point. I’m not a “people person” by nature (especially in the morning) but I do think it’s polite to return greetings or say “hi” as you pass them in the halls. I never know when I’ll need help from somebody and if I have a reputation as rude and unfriendly I won’t get help from people when I need it.

You don’t need to carry on long conversations with them, you can say “hi” and go back to your project, or your meal (if you’re on lunch break) or whatever.


Just Laura June 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

I completely agree. The other day as I walked to my office, I smiled and said “good morning” to two ladies who work at the other end of the floor. They stared at me as we passed each other. That was an uncomfortable feeling.

Later I heard a superior remark that “walking into their office is like walking into a stranger’s house with no invitation.”


Chocobo June 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

I also agree. A greeting is a common courtesy, like holding the door. You do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you like the person.


Chia June 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

It is important to be friendly at work. I don’t interrupt people in deep thought or when they are walking with someone else and talking. I do say hi and smile when I pass someone (actually I do this on the street to in the morning). Manners at work are incredibly important.

Be nice to everyone, you never know who they are going to turn out to be.


Vanna Keiler June 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I agree with the above comments and EPI response. Employees at work whom you do not know should be particularly greeted or acknowledged if you make eye contact at work or convene in the hall break room. Consider these encounters like first impressions with people who may or may not have an impact on your employment. Since there is rarely an employee who works autonomously at their position (i.e. everyone is dependent on everyone else in some way), work could get around about their positive or negative impression of simply bumping into you in the hall. Sociability is a huge factor in a person’s perceived performance in the workplace. It’s also just plain friendly and social to do this, so if you’re the shy type, just pop a smile and a nod at a passerby and watch their face light up. Try it, it’s fun to see this (unless they’re cranky too).


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