The Rock, Paper, Scissors of Office Greetings

Posted 3 weeks ago by Naomi Lucas

With the work-from-home order finally coming to an end, and the return of in-person meetings, we here at TSP have been wondering, what IS the new etiquette for greeting business contacts in a post-pandemic office? 

Picture the scene: tenants back in the office on all floors, the building has the familiar buzz of pre-pandemic life, communal facilities are back in-use (hooray for the in-house coffee machine!) and the monotony of the home-office is becoming a distant memory. A long-standing business contact arrives for a meeting – what next? 


Rock: The Handshake

Pre-pandemic: an oldie but a goodie. The steady-Eddie of greetings and one that has catered for both the formal and informal setting for many years. Great for the first meeting where you can go in with the firm and direct shake, but also for the regular acquaintance where you can add a chummy shoulder pat.

Post-pandemic: Do you or don’t you? Dare you extend the hand when we’ve spent months trying not to touch anyone? Thank goodness for the hand-gel dispensers the Building Manager installed a few months ago, right? If there’s been a mass application then sure, go for it! 


Paper: The Wave

Pre-pandemic: An awkward non-greeting which mainly occurred in large meetings where the logistics of clambering over the table or other attendees to extend a hand to each person was frankly too much hassle.

Post-pandemic: Still slightly awkward but suddenly a highly-acceptable welcome reserved for, well, almost every occasion.


Scissors: The Continental Kiss

Pre-pandemic: cross-cultural and a nice change from the handshake for those familiar contacts that have surpassed the handshake; those with whom you might take an evening meeting over drinks. Gives the air of friendship but still within the realm of the professional.

Post-pandemic: a risky move, steer well clear.



Votes are in at TSP and the winner (for the foreseeable) is… The Wave. But what do you think? Too conservative? Or best to do nothing at all? Tell us your thoughts!


Disclaimer: TSP is in no way sponsored by the wave, and is obliged to let you know that other greetings are available, including but not limited to the hi-five, the elbow-bump and the hug as well as those listed above.

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