Kiss or shake?

It’s a question that plagues us all – do you shake hands with clients or colleagues or give them a kiss?

According to a survey of 1219 British office workers by recruitment company Office Angels, 46% of workers are unsure of whether to kiss or shake.

And the confusion leads to some big problems. One fifth of respondents said they have embarrassingly clashed faces with a colleague or client when aiming to kiss opposite cheeks, 13% become so concerned about whether to kiss or shake that they’ve forgotten the name of the person they’re greeting, and 10% have allowed a colleague to sit through a meeting with lipstick on their cheek as a result of pre-meeting peck with a female client or colleague.

But the biggest problem occurs when one party goes in for the kiss and the other sticks with the shake – a very embarrassed 6% of respondents said this scenario has led them to accidentally grope their colleagues or clients.

To clear things up, we’ve asked the resident SmartCompany etiquette Aunty B for her verdict. “It’s simple,” she says. “When in doubt, shake.”


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