• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Hug or a handshake: Which does your workplace embrace?

by on
in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Your Office Coach

Like people, some workplaces welcome huggers. Others prefer a smartly extended right hand. An Associated Press article posed the classic conundrum: “To hug or not to hug, at work.”

The answer—perhaps unsurprisingly—is: It depends. The article quoted a variety of experts, who raised any number of complicating issues.

Does workplace hugging promote team cohesion? Does the culture of the industry or profession matter? What about the age of the work force?

Patricia Mathews of Workplace Solutions Consultants told AP, “I think hugging in the workplace depends a lot on the culture of that specific workplace. It’s truly a gray area. Some people love to be hugged. For others it’s ‘please don't touch me.’”

Mathews, a member of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Employee Relations Panel, contends that industries and professions that attract younger workers embrace more embracing at work: “Hugging in those kinds of workplaces has become less of an issue. I see more casual interaction; these employees socialize more outside of work.”

Older employees in more conservative businesses, not so much.

Peter Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and great-grandson of etiquette maven Emily Post, urges a hands-off approach to work. “Any kind of intimate touching is a mistake,” Post said. “I would avoid even reaching out to touch somebody's shoulder as you're walking by them. We really recommend that people refrain from stepping in and giving a hug to a co-worker, a client.”

Of course, hugging also raises the specter of harassment, an issue that matters to the EEOC. “The only issue would be whether the nature of the touching or hugging is such that it threatened to become harassing,” said Dianna Johnston, EEOC assistant legal counsel. “To be considered unlawful, it would have to be unwelcome. It would have to be so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person in the same situation would feel offended.”

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3800/hug-or-a-handshake-which-does-your-workplace-embrace "

Leave a Comment