Flirting with a Co-Worker: Where to Draw the Line

  • Topic Info:Have you heard of the term "work girlfriend/boyfriend"? This typically refers to a co-worker who flirts platonically during business hours, without any romantic intentions. Flirting to advance one's career is widely regarded as taboo. But between colleagues - without a reporting relationship - it may be more acceptable. It is certainly more common.

    And it's understandable. You develop relationships and bonds with your co-workers. Professional relationships often involve mental and emotional support. You may even consider your "work boyfriend" a confidant, and be thankful that a vent session to them can help relieve a stressful day.

    Enjoying innocent flirtation might even have a positive effect; it can benefit your self esteem, making you feel confident and better about yourself.

    Philosophers have theorized that all communication is goal-oriented. What, then, is the motive when flirting at work? Is it simply fun and playful? Or is there an ulterior motive?

    What are the boundaries you need to have in place when flirting at work and where do you draw the line?

    A survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com in 2011 found that 38 percent of workers said they had dated a co-worker at least once during their career. Vault.com ran an office romance survey for seven years, and found that in 2011, 59 percent of employees had dated a colleague at least once during their career.

    Matchmaker and dating coach, April Beyer, shares the rules and etiquette to flirting at work.


  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS