Did you know that there’s a “taxonomy of hugging”? No, me neither. But according to this Wall Street Journal video on hugging in the workplace, there’s an American lawyer who takes employees through what’s ok and what’s not ok in the world of workplace hugging. It’s pretty weird, to be honest.
But I think the key points are: not everyone likes to be hugged; and there is nothing wrong with a good old high 5 with your colleagues. I would also add: don’t be creepy. As general HR guidance, I’d say don’t hug someone at work unless you know them very well and know that they want to be hugged – and even then, don’t linger, or be creepy or handsy. Honestly, I’d actually prefer it if you just gave the other person an affectionate (and gentle) pat on the head instead. As long as the recipient is ok with head pats.