London: Taking it as a compliment when he flirts with you at office? Don't get smitten by such men as they might be doing so just to relieve boredom, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Surrey who asked more than two hundred men and women between the ages of 21 and 68 about whether they flirt at work found that many men who do so are likely to less satisfied with their job and are bored.

The participants -- lawyers, stockbrokers, charity workers and civil servants -- were also asked questions about their personalities, how satisfied they were in their jobs and how hard they worked.

The results revealed a clear difference between the sexes. Women who flirted were just as happy in their jobs as those who kept relationships on a strictly business basis. However, male flirts tended to be less satisfied with their lot, the Daily Mail reported.

Researcher Chadi Moussa said: "Previous research has shown that people flirt for various reasons, which include increasing their self-esteem, fun and romance.

"If men are feeling unsatisfied in their roles, then they may resort to flirting to keep them entertained and this would partially explain the negative relationship.

"While flirting can have benefits, excessive flirting at work may be a sign that you’re unsatisfied with your job or simply bored."

But the researchers, who presented their results at a British Psychological Society conference on the psychology of women, said their findings didn't suggest flirting made employees more satisfied or helped them to perform better.

(Agencies)