Some people are suggesting men “ask the woman if you can hug her.” Please don’t do this. It’s almost impossible to say no to a question like this unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld fending off a hug from Kesha. And even then, when Seinfeld had to tell her that he wouldn’t hug her, it was extremely awkward. Don’t do that to your work environment.
Compliments are pretty much out, too. “Nice sweater, Suzie” can easily be seen as leery. There’s a sense that this is a loss for workplace niceties. But why does Suzie need to hear that her boss likes her sweater? Tell Suzie you loved her last PowerPoint presentation or that report she wrote. Don’t focus on her looks or clothes. She’s not there for you to look at.
Another rule: No dating co-workers. This doesn’t mean an end to all workplace romances, much as human-resource departments might hope; it just means that boss-underling romances are out.