At Work, Do You Hug, Bro-Hug Or Handshake? The WSJ Is On The Case, Thank God!

By Rachel Kaufman Comment

Earlier this week, Wall Street Journal workplace columnist Sue Shellenbarger tackled an issue nobody was wondering about: whether you should shake hands, fist-bump, or otherwise greet people in your workplace.

The answer (surprise!) is: it varies depending on the company culture.

“Ashley M. Harris worked for a San Antonio, Texas, public-relations agency that was very ‘huggy,’ she says. ‘You would walk into a meeting and give your client a kiss on the cheek and a hug, saying, ‘How good to see you,’ while holding onto their arm,’ she says. ‘It took a lot for me personally to get used to the hugging.’

“But at a university where she later worked, she threw her arms around a former professor of hers, and ‘he literally did a step back’ and tensed, she says.”

In case it’s all too confusing, the article came with a clip-and-save guide to interacting with your coworkers, sorted by industry. As you can see, in “entertainment, media” an appropriate greeting would be a kiss or hug, while in manufacturing you still shake hands. If you work in PR and your coworker wins the Super Bowl office pool, you are permitted to give a bro-hug. Not sure how? The guide comes with an illustrated diagram.

What more can we say?