Workplace Embrace: Is hugging appropriate in the office?

by epi on August 27, 2013

Q: What is the etiquette regarding hugging between male & female co-workers? Who should initiate? What if you are not comfortable?

A: Hugging in the workplace really is not appropriate for just the reason you bring up.  Many people are not comfortable hugging.  You should simply extend your hand for a handshake if you want to give the message that you prefer not to hug.  If the hugs are for a special occasion – when someone’s leaving for example – it might be a nice gesture if that is your workplace culture.

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L. Benda June 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Recently read an article by Leanne Italie from the Associated Press about Post’s book “The Etiquette Advantage in business. Italie states: “Post is a fan of hugs and kisses on the job after the first meeting, depending on your field.” Incorrect. Hugs and kisses are only appropriate with the permission of both parties. Moving in on someone for a kiss or hug without permission is considered sexual harassment in MOST fields.

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