Employers may adapt a policy restricting employees from shaking hands at work out of concern too many people felt uncomfortable with the social custom.
In a report conducted by Totaljobs, a UK jobs site, one in four of the 2000 adults surveyed claimed they avoided someone at work due to the way they greeted people.
Two in five said they found greetings awkward, while a third claimed their well-being had been affected by an awkward greeting of some description.
The majority of people who filled out the survey said clear guidance on appropriate greetings in the workplace would be useful in avoiding uncomfortable interactions.
Marketing director at TotalJobs, Alexandra Sydney, said it was common for greetings to take an awkward turn within the workplace.
“Whether it’s an unwanted hug, or a mistimed kiss on the cheek, our research suggests that workplace greetings have the potential to stray beyond awkward and could have a real impact on job satisfaction and productivity,” Ms Sydney told Metro.
“It’s clear that boundaries need to be set in the workplace which promote a comfortable working environment and doesn’t impede on the working day.”
Ms Sydney said a clear set of guidelines would facilitate open, honest conversations between workers about physical contact.
She argued it could have a flow-on effect on productivity, because workers would be focussed on their job rather on upcoming interactions with colleagues.
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