Around Valentine’s Day it can be difficult to escape all the love hanging in the air – even at the office. It’s one thing to stress over the unwanted advances of a lusty coworker, and quite another to worry about how you can make an office romance work when you want it to. Many companies discourage inter-office romance, but when you’re single and surrounded by like-minded individuals for the good part of your day, it’s difficult not to fall for a few office charmers. So what is the best way to navigate the often complicated office romance?
Be Aware of Company Policy
While dating someone at the office is not illegal, companies have different policies regarding it. So if you work for an organization that discourages cross-cubicle romance, try to stay below the radar. If your boss doesn’t care about who you’re bringing home to Mama, you can breathe a little easier, but remain professional regardless. This means no footsy, kids!
Keep it Out of the Office
To continue, it’s imperative that you keep your relationship out of the office. It’s unprofessional to be calling out pet names across the conference room table, and it’s even worse to bring your personal disagreements into work. It also puts those around you in an awkward position, and sets you up for accusations of favoritism.
Consider the Breakup
Before you embark on an intense amorous affair with a fellow employee, consider what the outcome might be if you break up. Is this person a boss who might hamper your professional growth if you make them sleep out on the couch? Is this an individual that works under you who might charge you with harassment or favoritism of other workers when you fail to return a box of their favorite DVDs? Think long and hard about this, and make sure that if you do go through a nasty break up, the two of you can act like adults, at least from 9 to 5.
Watch Your Online Activity
It bears repeating that you can never be too careful when it comes to representing yourself online. So if you’re trying to keep an office relationship under wraps, be mindful when you set a relationship status on Facebook, post pictures, or write comments. It’s also wise to make sure you keep everything tasteful in general. Another important thing to consider is the emails you send throughout the day. If you are using your work email account to send a message, others in the company may be able to access it. Be careful what you send to a significant other, avoid sending personal messages through office accounts, and again, keep it tasteful.
Office romance is on the rise, and with good reason. Who doesn’t like an intelligent, sexy working man or woman? That’s what we thought. Just take a few extra precautions, stay professional, and have fun!
The Doostang Team