Physical contact between work colleagues is creating awkward atmospheres, poll claims

Most want guidelines on appropriate greetings in workplace

Two in three people found greetings awkward and supported a ban on physical contact in the work place
Two in three people found greetings awkward and supported a ban on physical contact in the work place

Physical contact should end in offices, according to a poll of workers which suggested that one in three had been affected by an "awkward" greeting.

One in four of 2,000 adults questioned said they had avoided a colleague or client because of they way they greeted people.

Two out of five said they found greetings awkward and three out of four would support a ban on physical contact in the workplace.

A third of respondents said their well-being had been affected by an awkward greeting, such an unexpected kiss or hug, or even an unwanted chest hug.

Most of those polled said they wanted clear guidance on appropriate greetings in 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," said Alexandra Sydney, marketing director at Totaljobs, which commissioned the poll.

"With one in four people telling us that they avoid meeting a peer or a client due to the greeting alone, 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.

"Having guidelines which facilitate open, honest conversations between workers about physical contact offers employers the chance to have their team focused on the job at hand rather than whether they're shaking hands at their next meeting."

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