Saskatoon business etiquette teacher Crystal MacLeod is encouraging people to give a wave instead of shaking hands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You do a little bit of a wave to show that you're acknowledging somebody and that they're there," MacLeod said on Wednesday.

MacLeod said the handshake has been an essential part of our society because it is one of the most common ways to greet someone.

She said she now encourages people to focus on making sure others feel comfortable.

"Sensitive awareness of others and having empathy, that’s going to be the way that we can alleviate that anxiety of not being able to touch people or be close to them,” MacLeod said.

Before COVID-19, handshakes were a standard in many job interviews.

Career counsellor Susan McKay said she’s had to coach students differently.

"I think we've had to let the handshake go," McKay said. "It has been the standard greeting for a long time, decades in business environments. But now in the time of COVID-19, maintaining safety and that social distance is the priority."