I got into a conversation recently about how "chummy" people should be with one another at work. I've written about this before, but it seems to be an issue that comes up again and again.
One person I know expressed the opinion that she didn't mind it when others hugged her at work -- even if she barely knew them. She didn't think it was offensive, and was merely a way to say "hello."
Another said that she hated it when people wanted more than a handshake -- she finds hugging awkward and feels that hugs have no place in the workplace.
A man weighed in on the subject, noting that he's OK with hugging women -- but he doesn't want to hug a man (including his own brother, who he says drives him crazy.)
TIME asked the question in 2009: "Are Hugs the New Handshakes?" citing President Obama's tendency to hug staffers and the confusion about when to hug -- or not -- in the workplace.
The tough economic times, I think, have led to all of us wanting a hug whenever we can get it. We long for the comfort of knowing our co-workers are bonded with us in a special way -- that we're all in this tough situation together. But is it OK to hug now -- but not when times get better?
At the same time, I wouldn't suggest hugging an interviewer -- a solid handshake it enough. But should you hug a hiring manager in your enthusiasm when you get the job? Would it kill your career before it even started?
I'm interested in hearing what others have to say. Is hugging OK in the workplace? Or is it a harassment lawsuit waiting to happen?
Let me know what you think....