The German Etiquette Society (DKG) said it has received many complaints in recent months about colleagues greeting each other with quick smooches, something it said is highly inappropriate for Germans.
“The suspicion for many remains that there is, or may be, an erotic component to the kissing. Kissing simply gets on the nerves of many at work. It is a form of terror,” said the organisation’s chairman Hans-Michael Klein.
Instead, Klein said, work colleagues should shake each other’s hands from a distance of approximately 60 centimetres.
Of course, no one is calling for an outright ban on smooching. Kissing should be reserved for private areas and should not play a part in business, said the DKG, which pointed out that kissing has very different roles in other cultures.
It acknowledged that kissing may be indeed appropriate in other countries’ workplaces – just not in Germany.
Though the organisation’s proclamations have no legal weight, it has long played an important role in German society by setting the tone for appropriate etiquette.