To kiss or not to kiss? The work pucker-up!

May 30, 2016

I’ve noticed that corporate kissing is not only acceptable, it’s rife and I’ve taken no time at all to embrace the ‘x'

What are your thoughts on corporate kissing? On cheek-kissing colleagues? On ‘x’ sign-offs in work-related emails?

Back in my previous life as a solicitor, I never encountered any form of corporate kissing (well, excluding, of course, the lip-on-lip variety that may occur after a few too many chards at a bar on a Friday evening). The idea of meeting up with a colleague in the legal profession during the work day—even socially for a coffee—and giving them a kiss on the cheek seems utterly out of place. The idea of ending a work email with an ‘x’ is mortifying.

I’m out there, kissing around in the publishing industry!

But now I am in the publishing industry, I’ve noticed that corporate kissing is not only acceptable, it’s rife. And I’m quite happy with this situation. It’s welcoming. It’s bonding. It’s warm. It’s fuzzy. I’ve taken no time at all to embrace the ‘x’.

In fact, I use ‘x’s in my work emails all the time these days. And most others I deal with do too.

I try to make an exception for the young male digital marketer I work with at HarperCollins – I don’t want to terrify him with sloppy old lady kisses, so the smiley face is where I like to leave things there. But, I am fairly sure if I were to accidentally slip and sign off with one, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t even notice. He probably gets work emails with kisses every day.

And I’m an in-person colleague kisser too – chards or no chards. Not in a formal meeting situation. I’m not all ‘let’s sit down and talk about the edits to this book, but hey, before we start, how about we pucker up?’  At a coffee catch-up though, or at any other form of social-based work function, or even greeting at a seminar … the corporate kiss is just the norm.

Is it rife in other professions?

I wondered recently if maybe this was less to do with the publishing industry and more to do with the time that has passed since I was in the legal fraternity. Are solicitors sending ‘x’s their colleagues’ way these days too?

Has Brisbane just become all uber-cosmopolitan and work-related kisses are now perfectly at home here, no matter the profession or industry?

I polled other workplaces

So I asked a friend who works at the Australian Tax Office (ATO). She’s fairly high up the ranks, so I expect that to kiss or not to kiss is completely within her decision-making powers.

She was aghast. The idea of there EVER being an ‘x’ sign-off on a work email, even to a colleague, was OUT OF THE QUESTION.

So there you go folks, our tax office is being managed without the warm, and without the fuzzy. Good to know.

I asked another friend who works in marketing. She is also in a senior role, and she added another perspective. While corporate kissing is a part of her marketing work life (go marketers!), she often finds it uncomfortable when meeting with male colleagues and they kiss her on the cheek but shake hands with one another. Frankly she’d prefer a little less warm and a little less fuzzy in that context. A level, no kissy-kissy playing field would be preferable.

Your thoughts?

So what about you? What industry do you work in, and is the corporate kiss a go or a no?

Deb x

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Deborah Disney
Australian author, Deborah Disney, practised as a litigation lawyer prior to finding her true calling in the school pick-up line where she started typing a little story on the notes app on her iPhone one afternoon.

Deborah’s first novel, "Up and In", hit the bestseller charts on both Amazon and iBooks and has enjoyed international acclaim. Deborah is currently working on her second novel, which is about in-laws. You can connect with Deborah anytime on Facebook. You can find "Up and In" on Amazon – http://bit.ly/VZBYXD