Manners expert Myka Meier shares the totally relatable guideline we should focus on this year.

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To some, etiquette is considered old-fashioned. But to Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, it has never been more relevant than now.

"Etiquette is more important in 2021 than ever before," she says in an exclusive interview with Southern Living. "Right now, we need kindness and respect for one another in this turbulent time."

At the core, being mindful of manners "is just all about showing respect and consideration for other people and putting other people first," Meier says. So, with that in mind, Meier shares her top etiquette rule for 2021—and it may not be what you expect.

"There are so many [etiquette rules to consider], but one that kept popping into my head is that we need to better respect work time versus home time," she says. "For instance, it used to be you didn't send a professional email or call past 6:30 p.m. Now, with so many working from home, that's sort of gone out the window."

Because boundaries between work and home have become blurred in the pandemic, quite a few of us have experienced working long past normal hours. And even though "leaving the office" may simply be moving to the next room of one's house, colleagues can make an effort to respect their coworkers' boundaries by allowing them time to recharge outside of the hours of 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

"We should all let people enjoy their work/life balance and be respectful of their home time, unless it's an emergency," Meier says. "Everyone needs a chance to shut down. Respect for home life needs to come up again."

Meier suggests that if you think of something important to share with a colleague and you feel the urge to email them at, say, 10 p.m., draft the correspondence and schedule your email to send the message at 8 a.m. the next day.

"Just be conscious," she says. "You can use technology to make sure you're not crossing the line. What is important to you at that moment might not be important to the other person, so just be extra considerate of their time."

Want to learn more of Meier's etiquette tips? Check out her book, Modern Etiquette Made Easy.