RDS_190501 Handshake ban
Picture for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shuttertstock

Dubai: Hate awkward handshakes? The UK might put a complete end to it, if the respondents of a recent survey have their way.

In a survey done by UK-based job portal TotalJobs, two out of five people supported a complete ban on any physical contact in the workplace, as many respondents had been at the receiving end of awkward interactions.

In an official announcement of the survey results, the company disclosed that one in five people had suffered what they called a ‘greeting clash’ – 25 per cent had been trapped in an unwanted hug, one in five received an unexpcted kiss while 12 per cent said they had been accidentally headbutted!

The solution – no contact at all, according to 41 per cent of the respondents.


Over the past few years, the #MeToo movement influenced office interactions as well, with many companies putting in measures to put an end to workplace harassment. Media reports in the UK claimed that the country might take the no physical contact suggestion on board, with HR professionals commenting that workplace policies could lean towards a black-and-white no physical interaction in the office.

The news website metro.co.uk quoted an associate director at an HR firm in the UK, Kate Palmer, as saying: “Some employers may put a complete ban on physical contact. Whether that’s going too far or not is a question I would pose, because it’s contextual. Does shaking someone’s hand go too far?”


Many social media users, however, reacted strongly to the news reports, calling it a step too far.

Twitter user @T6tommyGill wrote: “The world gets goofier and goofier by the day. I’m glad I’m retired. People were always crazy. But not this crazy.”

Another tweep, @WillR_MIK, wrote: “Really. This is going way overboard. #MeToo movement is becoming a complete joke. What’s wrong with the younger generation today? They should move into a bubble if they have issues with any physical touch / greetings. Just my take.”

Not a bad idea

While there were some takers for the complete physical contact ban, it had to do with hygiene reasons more than #MeToo-related concerns.

Facebook user Patricia Hubble wrote: “Yeah, never been a fan. Never know where that hand has been and last time it was washed”

Another Facebook user Melinda Krause Redig voiced a similar concern: “Give me a break!!!! Now if it is to prevent spread of germs.....okay....”