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26 April 2019, 09:42 | Updated: 26 April 2019, 09:49
A new survey reveals three out of four workers want to ban physical contact in offices to avoid 'awkward' greetings
Hugging and kissing at work should be banned, according to a new survey that quizzed workers about close physical contact with colleagues.
Employment site Totaljobs found that three in four people wanted to ban physical contact when they asked 2,000 adults about personal space at work.
One third said their wellbeing had been affected by "awkward" greetings, so much so that one in four admitted to avoiding a colleague or client altogether because of the way they said hello.
"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.
The majority of the people surveyed admitted that more explicit guidelines on appropriate greetings would help them feel more comfortable in the office.
"It’s clear that boundaries need to be set in the workplace which promote a comfortable working environment and don’t impede on the working day.
"It stands to reason that feeling comfortable at work is closely aligned to feeling happy," Alexandra added.
The survey found that, in total, 25% of workers had been trapped in an unwanted hug, 19% had experienced an unexpected kiss, 15% suffered an unwanted chest touch when a handshake turned into a hug, 13% had fallen victim to an awkward accidental kiss on the lips due to a mistake in timing, and 12% had even suffered a headbutt by mistake!
Totaljobs' Marketing Director added that honest conversations between colleagues need to happen to avoid unwanted physical contact, meaning workers can focus on the job in hand rather than worrying about "whether they’re shaking hands at their next meeting".