Handshakes, once a key part of professionalism in the workplace and world of networking, may now be a thing of the past due to coronavirus concerns.
As more people return to the workplace, business owners are trying to figure out how to best keep their workers and customers safe while still appearing personable and professional. First impressions are especially important in the business world, and some professionals may worry that turning down a handshake could mean turning down a potential client. Creating new workplace policies—such as a no-handshake policy—is one possible way to increase safety in the workplace.
A well-written and clearly outlined policy can help workers and customers to be on the same page and understand that changes are to increase safety, so that a non-handshake greeting is less likely to be seen as rude. Policies can also be provided in advance to clients and employees so that people know what to expect before even arriving to the workplace, reducing the awkward moment of wondering whether or not to shake hands when greeting. Additionally, signs can be displayed to help inform people, such as the one Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz displayed stating “Due to the Corona Virus, No Handshakes Please. Thank You.”
A business policy takes away the pressure of employees and clients determining whether or not they should break recommended social distancing to shake a hand. Since the virus is known to spread easily through contact like handshakes, a policy like this could increase safety as well as send the message that the company cares about the health of its employees and customers. Other policies pertaining to disinfecting equipment and workspaces, handwashing, using disposable (rather than reused) products, and wearing face masks may also help businesses to operate in a safer way during the age of COVID-19.
Even without a handshake, business professionals are finding new ways to greet others, display friendliness, and network. Handshake alternatives could be as simple as a smile and wave or a slight bow or elbow bump (although that would still equate to some contact). The key to making changes is to be clear why you are doing what you are doing and that you’re doing the same for everyone—i.e.—“It’s so nice to meet you! We aren’t shaking hands to help keep everyone safe, but I’m glad you’re here.”
Interested in creating policies for the workplace regarding safety in the age of Coronavirus? We are not doctors, but we can help with policy documents that follow CDC guidelines and other recommendations given by the authorities, both local and otherwise; Contact us today today.