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The latest workplace trend? Let’s not, shall we?

What was ever wrong with the handshake? USA Today reports the fist bump, yes, that fist bump – the one made famous by domestic beer commercial characters and the Obamas, among others – has finally broken into the ranks of the business world. Most popular with young professional males, fist bumping has come to replace the handshake with increasing frequency. One company president interviewed claims he now encounters a fist bump as much as twice a month. Twice a month? Really?

Maybe it’s because I’m personally a fan of the high five, but this article made me cringe. I don’t even know that I’m bothered so much because it looks unprofessional and childish as it looks ridiculous: It reminds me of something The Office‘s profoundly awkward Michael Scott would do, only to be met with uncomfortable silence, which he would attempt to fill with a wildly inappropriate joke. Even in real life, fist bumps should be confined to sports players congratulating each other on the field, or laypeople who are doing it only ironically.

While the handshake is still the norm in business dealings, I dread the day am curious to see if this fist bump trend catches on. Should I encounter it (which I inevitably will after writing this, because that’s how my world operates), social politeness and general human decency will force me to participate, I’m afraid, but I can guarantee I’ll be gritting my teeth and dying on the inside the entire time. (I prefer to hold out for the day the fist bump is replaced by the face slap, as demonstrated in this Bud Light commercial.)

For more workplace trends that actually belong in the workplace, check out Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ list of the 10 workplace trends of the future. It’s an interesting list, and we’ve already seen several of these items – such as four-day work weeks, massive outsourcing, and social networking as a recruiting tool – become common in more and more companies lately.

What do you think? Is Challenger accurate in its predictions? What other workplace trends to you foresee? And how does your stomach sit with fist bumping? Do you agree with me, or am I being a handshake snob?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
3 comments
Shelly
Shelly

THANKS SOOOO MUCH I REALLY NEEDED THIS SITE!!!

Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

I guess I am a handshake snob as well. Human decency or not, I would not participate. I have my "standards" and I stick to them. Some people now feel it is necessary to hug everyone they meet. I do not. If someone I don't know tries to hug me, I simply stand back and extend my hand for a handshake. I guess you would say I am old fashioned, but I tend to do those things with which I am comfortable - and I respect others who do the same.

Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

I guess I am a handshake snob as well. Human decency or not, I would not participate. I have my "standards" and I stick to them. Some people now feel it is necessary to hug everyone they meet. I do not. If someone I don't know tries to hug me, I simply stand back and extend my hand for a handshake. I guess you would say I am old fashioned, but I tend to do those things with which I am comfortable - and I respect others who do the same.

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