We’ve all been there. That oh-so-handsomely scruffy guy in HR or (for guys) that new girl who just moved to the cubicle next to you. While many company policy handbooks, which are mostly unread, discourage employees from engaging in office relationships, human nature leads us astray–perhaps even in the right direction. Whatever you decide, here are a few rules to keep in mind, lest you find yourself in the unemployment line.
Be discreet in how you express your emotions. Grown adults don’t like to come into the office to find you smooching your co-worker boyfriend; they also don’t appreciate finding themselves in the middle of a love launch. This means keep the love notes, love emails, or cheesy nicknames to a bare minimum. A relationship at work thrives on subtlety.
Think before you do. This rule is twofold. One, if you’re thinking of dating your manager, it’s not horrible to think of what could happen to you as an employee if the relationship should break. A good guess is that the general atmosphere between you two could become overly awkward, resulting in a possible transfer to a different department or worse…your resignation. Second, can this romance affect your career? Sometimes you have to accept that there are better fish in the sea, which is far enough from your place of work.
Keep the social media personal and maybe even private. Almost everyone these days displays their job on their Facebook page. If you are dating a co-worker, it might be a good idea to keep that relationship semi-private. As hard as it may seem to avoid that tempting little button of “In a Relationship,” going private will work out better long-term. And isn’t that what you want out of this relationship? Long-term…exactly.
Honesty is always the better choice. So you and your office honey have to consult the company handbook. There’s nothing wrong with that! You both know what you’re getting into, and it’s only helpful if you openly talk about it. Also, if either one of you has concerns about the security of your job if your romance is forbidden, it’s good to come to a compromise on what you both want out of the relationship. That way, no one gets hurt.
Do realize that you have a job. It’s terrific to have a partner, and especially one that you can flirt with at work. However, you are at work to do work, and slacking on the job because your romance is getting in the way is one sure way to have it end quickly. As with everything in life, prioritize.
If it looks promising, let it happen. On the other hand, work doesn’t have to equal hiding like a hermit behind a pile of folders. Discreet flirting at work can raise your self-confidence and give you that extra boost you need in the day. It also has great romance potential. If it is appropriate and promising, go for it!