Flirting at Work: The Dos and Don’ts

Colleagues flirting at work

Fancying someone at work is way more common than you might think. In fact, as most of us spend the majority of our day in the office, falling for someone at work is often inevitable. The problem is that flirting at work is not as simple as it sounds. There are company policies and jealous colleagues to take into consideration, as well as a boss who may or may not think of you as an inanimate object whose sole purpose is to get the job done without getting side-tracked by flirting with co-workers. But when love comes knocking on your door, there’s really not much you can do but answer it.

Our flirting at work advice below will help you stay on top of things and, most importantly, maintain professionalism in the workplace to keep your job, so read on!

The Dos

Read Up on Company Policies

If you’ve never so much as opened your employee handbook, it may be time to do so now. Understanding company policies about office flirting will help you protect yourself and your job. Most organisations have firm rules on intra-departmental romance, but your company may be on the cool side and may not care much about what employees do in their own time. Just make sure you understand company regulations so as to know whether you need to hide your feelings or not.

Tell Your Boss If Things Are Getting Serious

If flirting at work is frowned upon in your workplace and you haven’t been open about your relationship, you need to tell your boss about it as soon as things start getting serious. Sharing personal issues with your boss is never easy but since this particular issue interferes with office politics, it’s your responsibility to make your boss aware of what’s going on. Be honest with your boss about where your relationship is heading, but be prepared that they may be ready to take action against you that you won’t like.

Keep Your Relationship Off Social Media

If you’ve gone all heart emoji, you probably want to share your love with the world, but since you also probably have lots of colleagues on your social media accounts, you may want to keep things a bit more private. You don’t want to rub it in their face, after all, while they might find it hard to take you seriously if they know that all you can think about are sunsets and long strolls on the beach.

Think of What You’d Do If and When It Ends

The problem with flirting at work is that romance often quickly dies down. If you’re lucky, it will be mutual and drama-free. But there’s also a good chance that it’s not going to go down that well. Whether it’s you or the other person who breaks it off, you need to think if you’d be able to continue working together or if you’d need to start looking for a new job.

Prioritise Your Work

Remember that you get paid for your work and, as such, you need to focus on making sure your work does not suffer just because you’re flirting with someone at work. Give your undivided attention to your responsibilities throughout the day and you’ll be able to have a healthier relationship with your boss as well.

Make Sure Nobody Else Is Flirting with the Same Person

If there was ever a recipe for disaster, this would be it. Flirting with someone that another colleague is also flirting with will most definitely end in drama and tears. Ask the office gossip discreetly about any potential romances to make sure that you won’t be stepping on anyone’s toes. Also, ask the person you’re flirting with if they are involved with anyone else, whether from the office or outside work.

Assume That People Know

No matter how well you try to hide it, people will notice and they will gossip. If flirting at work is not permitted by company policy, this could get you into trouble, so you should definitely try to avoid showing any signs of or actually flirting at work. You can always meet with the person you’re interested in after work.

Avoid PDA

You may think that publicly displaying affection is cute but your colleagues would disagree with you. Nothing adds more to misery at work than colleagues being happy. Also, do you really want to be making out in front of your boss? No, right?

The Don’ts

Flirt with Someone Out of Boredom

This is true whether you’re flirting at work or outside the office. Being genuinely interested in the other person avoids getting people’s feelings hurt, while it’s also grounds for a more meaningful relationship. If things are dead at work and you’re just waiting for time to pass, don’t start locking lips in bathrooms or supply closets, and instead ask your boss for more responsibilities.

Make the Office Your Personal Battlefield

Although fighting is never a good sign for any relationship, fighting in the workplace can be deadly. Making the office your personal battlefield will not just make you look unprofessional but will also be a huge blow on workplace morale and team dynamic.

Make Your Office BF/GF the Centre of Your Attention

It happens to us all; we fall for someone and have eyes, ears and attention only for them. However, the best flirting advice we could ever give you is to maintain balance. This is especially important in the workplace where you need to be alert and can’t afford to be distracted all the time.

Do Anything Inappropriate at Work

At the beginning of every new relationship, all you want to do is to physically be with the other person, and the restrictions of the workplace will make the idea sound even more appealing, but trust me when I say that it’s a very bad idea. You will get caught and you do not want to have that discussion with your boss. Remind yourself that you’re not 15 years old and that you can keep your hands to yourself.

Neglect Your Office BFF

Continue going out to lunch with them, finding excuses to go to their office to chat and arranging for after-work drinks with them, because neglecting them will make them angry and will also leave you without any allies. If you trust them enough, share your news about your office flirt and ask them to keep an eye out for you.

Share Your Feelings with Everyone

As this is not high school, you should avoid telling everyone how you feel about a certain person in the office, especially if your feelings are not reciprocated. You need to keep it professional and responsible; if the other person does not feel the same way about you, there’s no harm done. Just move on.

Forget about Your Professional Goals

Office flirting can distract you from your goals, so it’s important to keep a vision board with your professional goals in sight to avoid forgetting why you are at work and what you’re trying to achieve. This will also help boost your performance and maintain your quality results.

Flirt with Your Boss

The one office flirting rule you can’t ignore is this. Even if you think or know your boss has a crush on you, you should under no circumstances date them because it will never end well. Also, if you’re the boss, do not flirt with one of your subordinates. You do not want to have to deal with a power play and this will also put you in the gossiping spotlight.

Flirt with Someone Who’s in a Relationship

Even if you have no intention in making things serious, dating someone who’s already in a relationship will get you in trouble. Their partner will figure things out and you don’t want to get yourself caught in the middle of that drama. Just think of people in relationships as off limits and life will be much easier.

Use Office Computers or Wifi to Communicate with Them

Even if you think that flirting at work via internal communication systems is harmless, I can assure you that the IT people will disagree with you. They will read what you guys are talking about and they will print it out for your boss to read, as well. Upgrade your data plan if you must, but avoid work computers at all costs.

Flirting at work can often be too much drama and if you have no time for that, then by all means avoid it. You can always find love online, after all, so why bother facing the backlash from your boss?

Have you ever dated a colleague? How did that work out for you? Let us know in the comments section below!