Do you have to avoid huggers at work? (BBC News)
(Jul 20, 2017) — Are you a hugger or a hand shaker - or neither? When a work colleague returns from holiday or maternity leave, do you go in for the double bear-hug, or a friendly hello from across the desk?
For those people who prefer a non-physical greeting, the direction of office etiquette may be moving against you.
There is evidence that workplaces are seeing a rise in hugging culture. In a survey last year more than half of advertising and marketing executives said hugging was common, up from a third in the survey in 2011.
Experts say it could have a lot to do with more relaxed workplace environments.
But there's a downside. A separate study last year on sexual harassment in the US fast food industry found that more than a quarter of workers felt they were hugged inappropriately.
Deborah Wallsmith, an assistant professor of anthropology at Kennesaw State University, Georgia, says that the gradations of hug discomfort depend upon nuances, relationships, and personal preferences.
"The least offensive is the one armed side-by-side hug, where the huggers are standing next to each other, and extend their adjacent arms around each other's waist.
"The most objectionable is the full-frontal squeeze that goes on forever."
She adds that she "feels uncomfortable getting hugged by former professors and former bosses".
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.