A simple handshake appears to be a thing of the past according to author and creator of the column ‘Ask a Manager’, Alison Green

A hug was once reserved for close family and friends, but she says it has infiltrated the workplace – leaving huggers delighted and the rest of us shrinking back in the hopes that we can avoid an unwanted squeeze.

A workplace hug hasn’t become the norm in every industry, but there are sectors where it’s common in both greetings and goodbyes – especially as workplaces become increasingly informal.

“You’re greeting a colleague who you haven’t seen in a while – and suddenly, without warning, they’re enthusiastically opening their arms and heading in for a hug.


That can be odd for those of us who aren’t huggers, or who aren’t huggers at work. And the fact that different people have different preferences around hugging makes the whole endeavour fraught with awkwardness and peril.”

Should we err on the side of caution?

Huggers would do well to remember that their preference for hugging is trumped by a colleague’s preference not to have that type of physical intimacy with someone they work with.

Unwanted physical contact isn’t always innocent. Sexual harassment in the workplace is all too common.

have been harassed, what now?

You will want to know all your options before deciding what to do. This is what we are best at.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to raise a grievance with your employer – but it depends on your circumstances. You shouldn’t have to put up with being harassed and many people just want to leave work and never return.  We are experienced negotiators and will try to secure you the best exit terms if this is what you want to do.


FREE first advice

Have you ever wanted to just ask an expert employment law solicitor if they can help you, without worrying about what it may cost to contact them?

Get in touch

We’d like to talk to you to see what we can do to help, so please either call us anytime for free on 08000 614 631, email us or use the form below.

Together we can work out what your next steps might be...in confidence, at no cost and with no obligation.


* indicates required
McCabe and Co Solicitors will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at philip@mccabeandco.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.