At work I have a close circle of about ten people that I interact with frequently. Then there are some eight people I do greet on the aisle, but we do not work closely together. And then there is a huge group of people I pass when traversing the premises (kind of factory workers) that I greet but generally do not know names or anything of.
Today, in my close circle we had a small office Christmas party, where naturally we shook hands and wished each other Happy Holidays. Also, everyone that came by my office today I shook hands with along with the greetings.
On my way out I passed some of the more familiar co-workers, standing a few meters away from my route between smaller clusters of other workers I barely know. The familiar co-workers are maintenance people, the other, less known people are the ones working with the machines. There are some five groups like this on my route out, so I instinctively just shouted a collective 'Happy Holidays' to them, without shaking a hand.
Then I passed the office with the other eight closer colleagues. Again, I just peeked into the office and collectively wished everyone nice holidays. No hand-shaking there again obviously.
I do not have any issues with physical contact, I am just not a fan of this handshaking-through-the-whole-office-routine. Also, if I meet someone in a more isolated or personal way, of course I shake hands.
The way I see it is either shaking hands with a bunch of people like a robot, or just give everyone a quick smile when looking through the room. To me, the latter feels more natural, in that situation.
On the other hand I would like to be self-conscious of my actions and therefore started to ask myself if some people might consider my behavior rude.
So the question arises: Is it considered rude to not shake hands when greeting a larger and/or less known group of people?
- I am not declining handshakes offered to me, I just do not go up to a group of people and shake everyone's hands. Instead I greet them collectively.