There may come a time when you want to hug a co-worker. That’s OK, just make sure you’re familiar with the rules.
I thought it was about time we had some hugging rules for the office, so here goes:
The hugging rules
1. Don’t hug those you supervise. The caveats: You can hug a subordinate if it’s being supportive in a non-creepy way (major family or personal loss—sideways, kind of arm around the shoulder, you care about them hug); at a wedding and you are congratulating them; it’s a hug for a professional win (promotion, giant sale, big project completion, etc.) and it’s with a group, not alone in your office with the lights off; or, if you would feel comfortable with your spouse standing next you and watching that specific hug.
2. Hug your external customers or clients when they initiate the hugging sequence. The caveats: Don’t hug if it is required to get business (that’s not hugging, that’s harassment). Don’t let the hug last more than a second or two, or it gets creepy; and, don’t mention the hug afterwards, that makes you seem creepy!
3. Don’t hug the person in the office you’re having an affair with (no explanation needed).
4. Hug peers, just not every day. It’s all right to hug, but you don’t need to do it every day for people you see every day. Save some up and make it special!
5. When you hug, hug for real. Nothing worse than the “fake” hug! A fake hug is worse than a non-hug.
6. Don’t whisper “you smell good” when hugging someone professionally. That’s creepy; in fact don’t whisper anything while hugging!
7. Don’t close your eyes while hugging professionally. That’s weird and a bit stalker-like.
8. It’s all right to announce a hug is coming. Some people will appreciate a “Hey! Come here I’m giving you a hug—it’s been a long time!‘
9. It’s never all right to hug from behind. (Creepier!)
10. Never hug in the restroom. It makes for an awkward moment when other employees walk in and see that.
11. If you’re questioning whether it will be all right to hug someone professionally, well, that is your cue that it probably isn’t.
Do you have any hugging rules for the office?
These rules were written by Tim Sackett, and the rules originally appeared on The Tim Sackett Project.
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