It starts out with a few glances, knowing smiles here and there, flirty email exchanges, and sneaking out to share a lunch break. And before you know it, boom! You are in a full-blown office romance type of situation.
If you have a standard 8-5 job in an office, you probably know someone or you’re that someone who’s involved romantically with a co-worker.
It’s actually very normal. We spend most of our time at the office and see our co-workers a lot more than any other person in our lives. So it’s natural to develop feelings of attraction and affection towards someone we are working closely with.
In fact, according to a study released by Corporate Staffing, over 64 per cent of workers have a work spouse relationship with a colleague.
Office romance at first sound exciting. However, realizing that mixing business and pleasure is risky will keep you level headed. It’s all fun and games right now, but if you break up, it could be a very messy situation.
So, with that in mind, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider in order to maintain a professional image:
Do: Understand your company’s policies
Some organizations do not allow romantic relationships between employees. Others don’t have any rules altogether.
However, if you are unclear about the rules, you can talk to the HR in confidence before diving into a relationship that might cause problems in the future.
Do: Think about the breakup
Before jumping into an office romance situation always think about the end.
Will you be able to handle a break up if and when it happens? Can you handle seeing that person every day without the drama that comes with exes? Will you be civil and maintain professionalism?
All these are questions you have to really think about.
Do: Keep it discreet
When you decide to be romantically involved with your co-worker, keep it between the two of you. That means that you shouldn’t talk about it with your other co-workers.
Some co-workers who know about your office romance might use this against you and possibly make you lose your jobs.
It’s important to ensure that you avoid creating the impression that you are distracted from your work, slacking off, not fully engaged or even giving your significant other any unfair professional advantages.
Don’t: Engage in PDA
When a relationship is new, you just can’t get your hands off each other. I totally understand.
However, when it comes to office romance, public displays of affection are a big no-no. Remember to keep it professional.
Kissing or suggestively touching each other at work is definitely not a good look. Contain yourselves and refrain from being grabby during work hours.
Don’t: Have sex at the office
For some people involved in an office romance, it’s the thrill of doing something forbidden and maybe getting caught at it and for others, it’s a compulsion.
Whatever your reason is, just don’t do it! Imagine getting caught. Imagine the CCTV catching you in the act.
Will you live with that shame? What if you got fired?
I mean, there’s so much to lose here.
Don’t: Spend too much time in each other’s work space
If you spend too much time at each other’s work stations it raises suspicion of an ongoing office romance. And we don’t want that, do we?
Additionally, chatting and spending time at each other’s work stations kill productivity while at the same time distracting your workmates.
Leave your chats and conversations for when you go out on dates or spend time after work hours.
It’s not uncommon to have an office romance. It is also not rare that the relationship might end badly. Always weigh the pros and cons or seek advice from other people.
And if you decide to get into an office relationship, follow the tips provided here and you may do really well. Hey, you might even find the love of your life!