Will the handshake SURVIVE?
The first evidence of a handshake was in Greece in the 5th century BC. One reason for the introduction of a handshake in ancient cultures was that it demonstrated that a person wasn’t holding a weapon.
In modern times in Anglophone countries the handshake is common in business environments for both men and women. In casual non-business environments men are more likely to shake hands than women.
Will the handshake resume after COVID-19?
My view – after discussion with a business friend Peter Black of PBC Coaching and other colleagues – is that in business and particularly in corporate environments is that
handshaking will resume, with the following adaptations:
- The handshake will be done with a heightened awareness of infection risk, and with the need to sanitise hands before and after meetings.
- Hand sanitisation stations will be compulsory at every office tower lobby and reception area. Bottles of sanitation liquid will be, everywhere. Sanitation bottles will be placed in front of every person around a meeting table.
- There will be more awareness of social distancing in face to face meetings.
- In certain workplaces and in casual non-business situations the handshake may not survive or be used infrequently.
At this point in time – despite the obvious infection reduction benefits – I can’t imagine other greeting alternatives, such as the fist bump, elbow bump and Namaste, taking hold.
The above changes can be viewed in light of changes in business and workplaces after the 9/11 crisis. After 9/11, business environments adapted. Security personnel were stationed at office towers, and entry pass security gates were introduced.
What’s your view? Will the handshake survive? Why/why not?
I’d love to hear from you.