Flirting at work has long been a controversial topic. While a little playful banter between two consenting adults may not sound problematic, conflict can arise when relationships between colleagues start to heat up.
If you and your office crush can’t stop staring at each other from across the desk, there are ways to go about flirting in the office that will protect you from losing your job. Get ready to ignite an office romance and take a look at this guide on how to flirt at work without loosing your job.
Tips for Flirting Safely at the Office
1. Don’t Flirt with the Wrong People
The number one rule of office flirting is to only flirt with people who are interested in you. If you throw out a line, and the person seems uncomfortable, do not continue to make unwanted advances. This comes off as creepy and will land you in human resources with a harassment complaint. Another rule of thumb is to only flirt with other singles. If you see a ring on their finger, run. You don’t want to start any drama.
2. Avoid Excessive Touching and PDA
The secret to flirting without losing your job is to avoid excessive touching, even if it’s consensual. While it may be tempting to sneak a kiss in the break room, you never know who may be watching and waiting to run and tell your supervisor.
Small touches may go undetected and can turn up the heat with your office love interest. Don’t overdo it with the PDA (Public Display of Affection) and never touch anyone at work without getting their consent. Touch is a slippery slope, and you don’t want to get fired for inappropriate contact or sexual harassment.
3. Stay on Your Level
If you are a supervisor, it isn’t wise to flirt with your subordinates. Similarly, you should never flirt with your supervisor or those higher up than you. When prospecting for an office romance, stick to coworkers on the same level of the hierarchy as you. This will help you avoid conflict, and there is less of a chance that you will be fired.
If your supervisor or direct reports make advances towards you, it’s best not to entertain them. If their advances become problematic, you should take the issue to human resources. Don’t give in to temptations that could cause you to lose your job. The point of flirting is to have a little fun at work without compromising your career or income source.
4. Don’t Try Too Hard
If you want to flirt with the cute receptionist in your office, it’s best to initiate a non-threatening, friendly conversation that isn’t too flirtatious. Don’t be too forward or make any remarks that could make your coworker uncomfortable. Simply being kind, respectful, and having a warm conversation is the best way to initiate contact with someone you are interested in.
After one or two conversations, you should be able to tell if they are interested in talking to you regularly. Let things happen naturally, and don’t try to rush the relationship. If the person shows any signs of discomfort, it’s best to move on.
5. Don’t Get Sidetracked
Don’t get too caught up in an office relationship that you neglect your responsibilities. You are at work to do your job well and to make a living. If you want to ensure you don’t get fired for flirting, be sure that you are known as a stellar employee that always gets their work done on time. If you and your boss have a great rapport, they might cut you a little more slack for socializing on the clock.
You don’t want flirting and socializing to harm your career. Flirting is a fun way to enhance the daily grind, but it shouldn’t take away from your ability to do your job. As tempting as it may be to meet up in the break room with your love interest, don’t spend too much time away from your desk. If there is a mutual interest between you and your coworker, arrange to meet outside of work to avoid conflict.
6. Don’t Forget Your Friends
If you have made reliable work friends over the years, don’t go ghost on them upon finding romance. Go out to lunch with them, talk to them on breaks, and treat them kindly. If you suddenly go missing in action, they may become disgruntled when they find out about your new fling. Even if you trust that your coworker friends would never tattle on you, it’s never wise to ditch good friends for a fiery passion that may burn out in a few weeks or less.
Your loyal friends will have your back if things go awry with your love interest. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to tell them about your crush, but you should probably spill the beans if things start to get serious. You don’t need to divulge all the details of your romantic conquests to the entire office, but telling a few of your trusted companions is fine.