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Survey: 21 percent of women flirt at work for preferential treatment

A comprehensive business continuity plan will account for appropriate office behavior. No employee wants to feel uncomfortable or harassed while they are at work.
A comprehensive business continuity plan will account for appropriate office behavior. No employee wants to feel uncomfortable or harassed while they are at work.

Reputational damage can be highly detrimental for businesses. Company leaders will often step down from their duties if it is revealed that they behaved immorally or were involved in illegal organizational practices. However, the inner workings of an office can also be important for its overall success.

Previously, this blog discussed the importance of a business continuity plan accounting for office romances, as these can negatively affect a company if not handled properly. While relationships are a natural occurrence, it’s important for there to be well-established guidelines to ensure that all employees act in an appropriate fashion. Harassment or unwelcome flirtatious gestures should not be tolerated.

The website Confused.comsurveyed over 2,000 individuals and found that 55 percent of women admitted that they’d flirted to get their own way in day-to-day life. Furthermore, 21 percent of women admitted they flirted at work to receive preferential treatment.

Emma Rosenblum discussed the findings in a contribution piece for Bloomberg Businessweek. She explained that a former co-worker used to dress provocatively and flirt with the men in the office, in an attempt for personal gains. However, after the woman’s actions were brought to a manager’s attention, she changed her style of clothes, but the actions remained the same.

“People in our office, men and women, just thought she was weird: An outcast with excess erotic capital,” Rosenblum wrote. “I like to think she was an undercover actress, researching a part for ‘Mad Men.’ Or a participant in a useless study about workplace flirts.”

It’s important for managers to clearly establish guidelines for appropriate office behavior. Working with business continuity consultants can help ensure that all employees are educated on how to properly act in a way that doesn’t make co-workers uncomfortable and will be able to push an organization forward.