At my workplace there are around a thousand employees. As it is normal I don't know all of them. But I do come across them at various places - cafeteria, lobby, lift.

Sometimes I encounter people who I would like to get acquainted with but we were never formally introduced

Similarly while crossing the lobby you see someone coming from the other end but we don't know each other and we keep staring and no one says "Hi".I feel later that maybe I should have said.

What's the best way to tackle such situations ?

How to acquaint myself/be friends with someone who I do not work with/report to at a workplace?

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    Rule #1: Do not dip your pen in the company ink. No matter how hot she is. Any approach not initiated in a business sense will not be considered just "friendly". No one goes up to the ones with an appearance deficit to start up a friendship. So don't kid yourself that you just want to be friends. – Joel Etherton Sep 24 '13 at 14:23
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    Not thinking to ask her out. Being acquainted/"just friends" is enough Then why even mention that they are attractive? If you have zero romantic intentions, then their attractiveness shouldn't matter and the question should be how can I make friends at work when I haven't been introduced to these people? – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 24 '13 at 14:47
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about flirting advice that just happens to take place in the workplace. – Jim G. Sep 24 '13 at 14:57
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    @JimG. I'm not looking for flirting advice. If I can rephrase I'm looking an answer to "How to acquaint myself/be friends with someone who I do not work/report to at a workplace". Putting a female co-worker makes it more interesting and the word "attractive" perhaps spoils the question by misleading the reader. – R11G Sep 24 '13 at 15:04
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    @R11G then edit the question to remove these elements. – ChrisF Sep 24 '13 at 15:19

The workplace is generally a bad place for flirting. Searching for a relationship at work is deemed very unprofessional in most cultures and can easily result in harassment accusations. Nevertheless, there are quite a lot of couples who met each other at work.

The only situation where it would be appropriate to flirt with coworkers you were not introduced to are casual work-related happenings like a company party or an after-work round of drinks where people are expected to talk informally with colleagues they usually don't work with. But even then you should tread lightly.

In other situations, you should try to perceive your coworkers as sexless.


The best way to tackle such situations at a workplace ? I dont know of any other way but to greet the other person with a smile either in the elevator or the foyer. May be get into friendly banter if you work in the same team or meet outside at a common friends party and take it from there.

Tread extremely carefully, though. Most companies have integrity/sexual harassment hot lines for any untowardly approaches at the workplace. Of course, what is untowardly is relative. Unfortunately, even a genuine attempt to befriend the fairer sex can backfire and people have lost jobs and these incidents have gone into police records. Some companies have very strict policies/measures in place for workplace romance/dating.


A little friendly chit-chat with people at work is okay.

But look at the situation from an employer's point-of-view. Let's say you hire someone to do a job for you. How would you feel if they wanted to spend time chatting with your girl-friend while getting paid?

Your focus regarding work is off. You shouldn't be focused on your personal need for connection with other people. That's not why you were hired.

Nothing good can come from flirting with co-workers. Co-workers tend to act nice to their fellow workers and it is very easy to get the wrong impression. They're being naturally nice to everyone they meet, and you wish it meant more.

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    " Co-workers tend to act nice to their fellow workers and it is very easy to get the wrong impression. " - valid point. But don't people spend more time with their co-workers than with their own families ? In that case, their coming off as nice is not out of any vested interests. They really mean it then. – R11G Sep 24 '13 at 17:47
  • I agree with you. They mean it, and it can be easily assumed to mean something it doesn't. I added in a, hopefully clarifying, sentence. – dcaswell Sep 24 '13 at 17:48

When I first moved to where I currently live one of the first real friends I made in the area was a somewhat attractive female I met at work there isn't inherently wrong with it. My advice is to keep it casual. Break the ice with small talk. Nobody will think anything of it if you make small talk with or if they see you two having a friendly conversation in the break room.

That being said as people like happybuddha have mentioned some workplaces do have strict policies about dating and the like between coworkers and most don't discriminate between actually dating and being "friends with benefits" type situations so if you do start to do stuff with her outside the office you should probably make sure it stays there.

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