Germans Say Nein to Kissing at Work Keep your distance, says a German etiquette group By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Aug 12, 2011 2:13 PM CDT 8 comments Comments Shake, don't kiss, at least in the office, says a German etiquette group. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – It may be common in France, but a kiss on the cheek has no place in Germany, says the Knigge Society, a group that advises on social behavior and etiquette. It says it has received numerous complaints on the subject, and wants to remind Germans to stick with a handshake—and observe a "social distance zone" of 23 inches, reports the BBC. "We can't forbid [kissing in the workplace]," said the Knigge Society chairman. "But we have to protect people who don't want to be kissed." The group, which has already given its recommendations on how to react to a runny nose in public, also suggests "that if people don't mind it, they announce it with a little paper message placed on their desk."