Home  >  My Life  >  Work and Play

13 Subtle Ways to Hint and Flirt with a Coworker & See If They Like You

If you want to know how to flirt with a coworker, you need to do it in a way that avoids embarrassment if things go wrong. Flirting at work is perilous!

how to flirt with a coworker

Ah, that awkward but common situation—having a crush on someone you work with. We’ve all been there at some stage, but did you ever try to move things along and find out if they felt the same way? It’s important to learn how to flirt with a coworker in the right way, to avoid possible embarrassment.

The biggest problem with this situation is that if you flirt up a storm and it doesn’t go your way, you continue to see them on a daily basis. It may make life difficult and embarrassing, and as a result, your work may suffer.

Of course, that’s the negative side. The positive? They might feel the same way and you could find yourselves the new hottest couple on the block! [Read: You can’t hide these signs of sexual tension with a coworker]

Crossing the line while flirting at work can be dangerous for your career, too

There’s a bit of red tape to consider before you even start learning how to flirt with a coworker.

Not every workplace allows relationships between coworkers, and it varies from place to place as to whether it’s prohibited or allowed. While most workplaces are a little more lenient these days than they were before, it’s still an unspoken rule in many cases.

It could also be that relationships or unions between different staff grades are frowned upon. You can argue until you’re blue in the face whether it’s right or not, but rules are rules. If your job is important to you *hopefully it will be*, then you need to know where you stand before you even attempt to try and flirt up a storm with the apple of your eye. [Read: 12 unwritten work spouse rules to keep things fun and uncomplicated]

Most workplaces have a code of conduct manual or document so simply check things out beforehand, but in the most subtle of ways!

Assuming you’ve done that and you know that coworker dalliances aren’t frowned upon, what else do you need to know? Oh, the fact that you’re potentially playing with fire.

Yes, more negatives, but we want you to be armed and prepared before you go into flirting battle. [Read: The biggest dos and don’ts of dating a coworker you simply can’t ignore]

How to flirt with a coworker – Tips, tricks, and things you need to know

Flirting at work is a little tricky but it’s not impossible. You just need to know the way to do it versus the things you shouldn’t do.

The first few points on this list are going to cover what you should do to flirt at work with someone you’re not seriously considering anything happening with. It’s just a bit of innocent flirtatious fun to make work more bearable.

But then, we’ll move on to how you can try and take things further – if you want to! [Read: The 30 best subtle, obvious, and really sexy flirting tips for girls]

1. Make it a joke

Instead of making your flirty comments serious and extremely flirty, say them more as a joke. You know how you used to poke fun at a kid you liked when you were little? The same type of flirting can be workplace appropriate.

Saying something funny like, “Running a little late because you needed extra time on that hair? It was worth it,” can be very funny and also complimentary and flirty. So long as it’s said jokingly and in a way that you’re making fun of them, it’s okay. [Read: How to be funny and make people love your company]

2. Keep it appropriate

If you want to keep flirting at work, you have to keep things innocent. No sex comments and no comments that are inappropriate in nature at all. If anything has to do with their body or any reference to sexual things, you’ve crossed a line.

Things of sexual nature can’t really be taken as innocent. Once you get someone thinking of you in that context, it’s usually impossible to make them stop. So avoid sexual comments altogether.

3. No touching

Most companies have policies against any touching past a handshake, but just for clarity, don’t do it. You can definitely give someone a pat on the shoulder, but that’s really as far as you can take it.

You may want to get flirty at work and slap a coworker on the butt lightly, but you can’t. That’s definitely crossing a line. When you get physical, you can’t really be innocent about it. [Read: 15 obvious flirting signs between a guy and a girl]

4. If you would get upset with your partner for doing the same, stop

The double standard is real in this case. If you know you’d be upset if your partner did the same, it’s crossing a line you can’t take back. The same applies if you’re single, but the other person isn’t.

Would you feel comfortable with someone else doing those same things to your partner while at work? If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be doing it either.

5. Never act on any flirtatious comments

Flirting at work can be completely innocent if work is the only place you ever flirt with that person. When you keep it confined to work, it becomes less of a flirtatious thing and more of a work-friend thing.

That being said, you should never, ever act on any comments you make. If you say anything about taking a person downtown and showing them a good time, don’t actually do that. Make the comment, but also make it clear that you’re not serious about it. [Read: Is flirting cheating when you’re in a relationship?]

6. Don’t flirt at any work functions where alcohol is involved

This is a HUGE no-no, but it seems to be the place everyone gets flirty – and then regrets it. When you have a work party or function of some sort and alcohol is involved, you can’t flirt.

Your inhibitions are lowered, and you don’t think clearly. And that means you could end up taking the flirting a little too far and ruining things at work for good. That’s not how you should go about learning how to flirt with a coworker!

7. Compliment something obvious

If you want to be flirty by complimenting them, then make it obvious. For instance, if they get a haircut, you can definitely tell them how great they look while smiling at them suggestively, but leave it at that.

If you compliment anything that’s less obvious and more personality-based, it can give them the wrong impression. [Read: 30 subtle, obvious, and really sexy flirting tips for girls]

8. Gauge their response

If you can tell that someone is taking your flirtatious comments a little too seriously, then lay off. You never want to lead someone on and then disappoint them with a denial when they ask you out.

This will make your work relationship very uncomfortable, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. So make sure you’re paying attention to how someone is responding to your flirting. When they show signs of interest, stop it completely.

9. Give them a playful wink

The best way flirting at work can be kept innocent is if you give a few playful winks here and there. This opens the door to flirting, but it also doesn’t cross a line.

A great way to do this is by giving someone a compliment followed by a small wink and a smile. This will get those flirty wheels turning in their head without making them think you want to hop into bed with them. [Read: How to wink like a total tease and catch anyone’s eye]

10. If you feel awkward, the line has been crossed

This should be obvious. If you feel weird about a flirty comment you made, it was too much. You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable while flirting with people who aren’t your significant other.

If you do, it means that your comments aren’t all that innocent. To avoid this, follow the above advice and don’t take it that far. If you’ve already done this, stop the flirting and try to pretend like it never happened in the first place. [Read: 10 signs your partner’s coworker is too close for comfort]

11. If you want to take your flirting further, be very cautious

Now we’re moving on to the second part of this whole subject – if you want to see if this could be something good in your life. In that case, be cautious and take it very slowly indeed when learning how to flirt with a coworker.

Remember what we said about checking your workplace rules too? If you don’t, you could get into seriously hot water without realizing it.

12. Use body language to your advantage

Body language and selective verbal clues are things you can do every single day. It builds up the mystery and sexual tension, which can be taken out of the workplace.

For example, suggesting you meet up for a drink after work to discuss a project. Of course, you’re not going to discuss a project, you’re going to flirt a little harder! [Read: Flirty or friendly? The subtle differences to read the right signs]

A few useful ways to use body language and selective verbal clues are:

1. Make eye contact when you speak

2. Gently touch them on the arm when you’re speaking

3. Bite your lip subtly when you’re listening to them talk

4. Show interest in what they have to say [Read: 19 ways on how to be a better listener in a relationship]

5. Get them a coffee or a drink whenever you get one for yourself

6. Ask them how their evening was on a regular basis, i.e. showing interest

7. Nudge them gently in a playful manner

8. Identify mutual hobbies or things of interest and focus on talking about them [Read: 20 subconscious signs of attraction that show up between two people]

As you can see, these aren’t ‘in your face’ flirting techniques. They do get you closer to your crush and show a connection you don’t have with anyone else. By doing this, you create a little tension. Take the flirting up a notch, with eye contact, gentle touching, and lip biting.

Obviously, we don’t have to tell you that you shouldn’t go around touching people if they don’t seem comfortable with it, or in a way that would be deemed inappropriate. Remember, you’re at work!

A gentle, but fleeting, hand on the arm when making a point is as far as you should go. [Read: How to have playful banter and keep the flirting alive forever]

13. Time to take the plunge

Once you’re sure that your coworker has grasped the idea that you’re flirting and not just being very friendly, and you see signs of flirting coming back your way, suggest a meeting outside of work. Now, as subtle as the rest of the flirting has been, continue the theme when you ask them out.

Keep work ingrained within it if you can. You can back out if they refuse. This will save your blushes in a big way! [Read: 16 signs of flirting at work to know if your coworker is hitting on you]

What if it goes wrong?

We hate being negative, but think about the possibility that either this person doesn’t like you in the same way, or things go well and then suddenly turn sour. Remember, you see this person on a daily basis at work and that could be excruciating for you in some situations.

Your job is important, and whether or not you see yourself staying with that company for the rest of your working days or not, it’s important to be professional and do your best while there. You’re not going to be able to do that if you cringe every time they walk into the office. [Read: What you need to do if your relationship with a coworker ends]

Of course, it could be equally as excruciating if your crush turns into a full blown love that you must keep quiet because you’re working with this person, and you’re scared to make a move.

The only thing you can do is go with what feels right and what you know you can live with. So, make your decision, and move toward the successful, but subtle, flirting plan.

[Read: How to handle a coworker crush like an adult]

Learning how to flirt with a coworker can be difficult. You might not feel you’re showing your crush that you’re interested. The subtle route lets you veil your attempts, providing you with an embarrassment safety net.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...