National Receptionist Day

A professional receptionist at a desk, answering a phone call with a warm smile, office decor in the background..
National receptionist day illustration

Ah, the receptionists! The unsung heroes of the office, the gatekeepers to all that corporate glory! National Receptionist Day is the perfect opportunity to show some appreciation for these wonderful individuals who keep everything running smoothly. So grab your phone, book an appointment with your dental hygienist (because it's also National No Cavity Day) and let's dive into the fascinating history of National Receptionist Day!

When is Receptionist Day?

It's national receptionist day on the 8th May.

What is National Receptionist Day?

National Receptionist Day, observed on the second Wednesday in May each year, is a time to honor and appreciate the hardworking men and women who hold down the front desk fort in offices and organizations across the nation. They are the friendly faces that greet us when we walk through the door, the voices we hear on the other end of the phone line, and the organizational wizards who always seem to know what's going on.

Started in the late 1980s by the National Receptionists Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals), National Receptionist Day aims to recognize the valuable contributions that receptionists make to businesses every day.

History behind the term 'Receptionist'


Emergence of the Term 'Receptionist'

The term 'receptionist' first emerged in the late 19th century. It originated from the noun 'reception,' which refers to the act of receiving or being received. The suffix '-ist' was added to create a noun that signifies a person engaged in a particular occupation or activity. In the case of 'receptionist,' it refers to someone employed to receive and assist visitors or guests.


Formal Recognition of 'Receptionist' as a Job Title

By the early 20th century, the role of a receptionist became increasingly recognized as a formal occupation. The position gained prominence in hotels, where receptionists were stationed at the front desk to greet guests, handle check-ins, and provide information about the establishment and its amenities. This period marked the institutionalization of the term 'receptionist' within the hospitality industry.


Expansion of Receptionist Roles

In the 1920s, the role of receptionists expanded beyond hotels and started to be widely adopted in various industries. Companies realized the importance of having a dedicated individual to manage incoming calls, handle administrative tasks, and provide customer service. Receptionists became ubiquitous in office buildings, doctor's practices, law firms, and other professional settings.


Secretarial Skills and Modern Receptionists

During the 1950s, receptionist jobs became closely associated with secretarial skills. Many receptionists were expected to possess typing and shorthand abilities, as well as excellent telephone etiquette. They became the face and voice of the companies they represented, responsible for projecting a positive image and providing efficient communication. Modern receptionists evolved into multi-skilled professionals.


Technological Advancements and Changing Role

The advent of technology in the 1990s dramatically changed the role of receptionists. With the increasing use of email, automated phone systems, and digitized communication, receptionists shifted their focus towards a more diverse set of tasks. They became adept at managing online bookings, coordinating schedules, and using customer relationship management (CRM) software. This transition marked a shift from solely serving as a caller or visitor greeter to more administrative and organizational responsibilities.

Did you know?

Did you know that one of the most famous fictional receptionists is Pam Beesly from the TV show 'The Office'? She won the hearts of fans worldwide with her warm smile and quirky personality!


romance fun appreciation office

First identified

13th May 2015

Most mentioned on

8th May 2019

Total mentions


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