Have We Come to an Era of Virtual Handshakes Only?

Have We Come to an Era of Virtual Handshakes Only?

Even when life goes back to normal once the COVID-19 crisis is over, there are some practices that shouldn’t be resurrected. The handshake might be one of them. While this virus has wreaked havoc across Grand Rapids, Michigan, the US, and the world, it’s also demonstrated how easy it is to transmit infectious diseases, especially from personal contact.

That said, it’s hard to imagine a business world or workplace without a handshake. Every time you meet a new customer or member of the team or see a colleague you haven’t connected with in a while, you typically engage in a handshake. And it’s meant to portray a feeling of welcoming, goodwill, and satisfaction. Not a bad thing, right?

But, according to experts, it is. That’s why it might be time to say good-bye to this germ-spreading practice, especially in light of COVID-19 and its dangers. 

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he believes we shouldn’t be shaking hands in the first place and should discontinue the practice going forward. And it’s not just because of COVID-19, but also the many other illnesses that are so infectious and can be transmitted with just a single handshake. 

So what are some other options? There are a range of them, and it might take a while for there to be a new societal norm that completely replaces the handshake. Some of them to consider at your company include:

  • Giving a little wave
  • Giving a small bow
  • Smiling and nodding your head

Your comfort level with the options above or different ones, like an elbow or fist bump, might change depending on who you’re greeting. For instance, you might take a different tact with a customer or potential new client than you would a colleague.

There’s certainly time to think about it too since it will be a while before the workplace fully recovers from COVID-19, and people are back in buildings and facilities. However, when it does happen, make sure you don’t contribute to the spread of disease and rethink how you and your team greet people. 

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