The handshake takes the place of various physical gestures between business colleagues and associates. Have we removed this form of physical connection and unspoken communication for good, or will we once again resume the comfort of our ways?
A history of the handshake
Handshake alternatives: some good, some bad
The elbow bump seems like a fun alternative but still carries a very informal quality. Also, most of us do use our elbows for coughs and sneezes, so it's definitely not an optimal handshake replacement if the purpose is to avoid spreading germs. The fist bump, another causal greeting, has been popularized mainly by athletes in sports. Probably the most awkward alternative greeting of all would be the foot shake or heel tap--just don't do it.
Are we over-complicating this? Perhaps a simple wave, a thumbs up or a smile could replace the handshake. Some customary greetings today in many cultures that could be a good substitute are the head bow (or namaste). Many of these alternatives are helpful during COVID times and would further help reduce influenza infection rates even after the pandemic becomes a distant memory.
A handshake comeback seems likely
David Aplin Group is a private family and employee-owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished recruiting firms. Our mission is to create value at every opportunity. Blog author, Rachael Pineau is a Consultant at David Aplin Group, based in Calgary, Alberta.
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