Three out of four people want a total ban on physical contact in the workplace, a survey found.
It suggested one in three had been affected by an ‘awkward’ greeting.
One in four of 2,000 adults questioned by jobs site Totaljobs said they had avoided a colleague or client because of they way they greeted people.
Two out of five said they found greetings awkward, a third of workers 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.
Alexandra Sydney, marketing director at Totaljobs, said: ‘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.
‘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.’