Business Manner of greetings when working in Japan

2019-04-08 MANNER , WORK

This post is also available in 日本語

Let’s learn the very basics of business manner when greeting people

There are surprising number of business manners you face with as you work in Japan. One of the basic points in this manner is how you greet people in accordance with the counterpart and the situation.

You have to use different patterns of greetings at work place depending upon to whom you address, your superior or contemporary, and when, coming to work or leaving from work. It will be very helpful in building up good relationships at work, if you can use proper patterns.

Why don’t you become knowledgeable of this manner if you’re seeking for good relationships at your work place?

Useful phrases of greetings in different situations

Let’s start a nice day with a “Ohayougozaimasu! (Good morning)” when arriving your office

A common phrases to say upon arrival to the office in the morning is “Ohayougozaimasu (Good Morning),” and “Otsukaresama desu (Hello, everybody. How is everything?)” in the afternoon. Since what you say may differ among companies, we’d better check ahead of time.

Greetings to use when going out and to someone who is going out

When you go out of the office, you should say something like, “Ittemairimasu (I am going to~~/visiting ~~.)” If you know when you’re coming back, it will be better to add, “××jigoromadeni modorimasu (I’ll be back by time.)”

When someone is going out of the office, you see him/her off saying, “Itterasshai (Please have a safe trip.)”

Greetings to use when coming back to office and to someone coming back

When you have come back to the office, say, “Tadaima modorimashita (I’m back.)” to let co-workers know. When you see other person came back, you want to greet saying, “Okaerinasai (Welcome back. You must be tired.)”

At the end of the day

When your working hour is over and you are about to leave the office leaving others, don’t forget to say, “Osakini shitsureisimasu (‘I’m leaving now’ or ‘See you tomorrow!’)” to your co-workers. You may want to add, “Moushiwake arimasen (Excuse me but, I’m leaving now)”, when you address to your senior.

And when others are leaving before you, a few words like, “Otsukaresama deshita (‘Hope you’ll rest well.’, ‘Take care!’, or ‘We’ll see you tomorrow.’)” to see them off is appropriate.

When entering or existing from a meeting room

When you enter a meeting room, you have to first knock the door lightly three times and then say, “Shitsureisimasu (May I come in?)”

And when you exit from the room leaving others, you say, “Shithureisimasita (Pardon me.)” A bowing will be more polite.

Greeting an incoming customer

When customers come visit you, it’s important to welcome with politeness to give them a good impression of your company. It’s a good business manner to receive customers pleasantly with a smart behavior.

There are some common phrases to say when you greet customers: “Irasshaimase (Welcome to our office.)”, “Osewani nattemasu (We highly value your patronage.)” or “Okoshiitadaki arigatougozaimasu (We thank you for taking time to visit us.)”

When you guide your guest, “Douzo ohairikudasai (This way, please. Please enter.)” If the guest is not yours, you say, “Douzo osuwarikudasai (Please take a seat. The person in charge will join you soon. Thank you.)” If you have kept them waiting, “Omatasesimashita (I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. Thank you.)” And when you know it’ll be awhile, “Shoushou omachi itadakemasuka (I’m deeply sorry but we’ll be a little late. Thank you.)”

Greetings between co-workers

There are two phrases commonly used to exchange greetings within your workplace.
They are “Gokurousama desu,” and “Otsukaresama desu” These two mean basically the same thing but are used in different situations. You have to know when to say which.

“Gokurousama desu” is addressed to your junior person to show respect to his work. Therefore, you should not use this unless you are in a senior position. It is a good business manner to use “Otsukaresama desu” to your senior. The colleagues exchange “Otsukaresama desu” when passing each other. This means showing respect to the work of the other. You can use this phrase only between co-workers.

You are to say such as, “We appreciate your business,” or “Thank you very much.” to your guests, customers, and senior persons of other companies.
(Note: These two phrases cannot be translated word by word. Literally, ‘Gokurousama desu’ means ‘Thank you for your work’, and ‘Otsukaresama desu’ means ‘You must be tired.’)

Pleasant greetings make your work and relationships smarter

As you have seen here, there are many variations of words and phrases used in Japanese business scenes. The dept of Japanese language is fascinating.

These greetings seem to be used casually, but they happen to be an effective media to build a good intra-company communication and more comfortable work environment. Also, a correct usage of proper greetings projects a nice image of yourself in the business scene.

Why don’t you be successful in your work as well as in building good relationships by striving to adapt pleasant greeting manners?