If you were to go out there and ask people’s opinions about dating a co-worker, you are most likely to hear a resounding “Don’t”. Everyone seems to have a story on dating in the workplace that went awry which lead to an embarrassing situation, smeared someone’s professional reputation, or even resulted in job loss.
If you are considering going forward with a workplace love, here are a couple of tips to help you with the rules for dating and modern relationships at the office.
1.Your workplace is not for extended quality time
Yes, the workplace is meant for work. Might seem like the most inane thing in the world to do, but the workplace is wholly and solely meant for working. Even if you are interested in pursuing a workplace romance, make sure to limit the personal talk to after hours.
2.Secretly sending racy text messages to each other
Romance in the workplace should be kept private. Clearly, this only helps to build the sexual tension between the two parties. But using the office email is too risky, so you resort to love in the workplace via SMSes and Whatsapp messages much like most modern love. Of course you can exchange messages but do keep it to a minimum so you are not distracted by messaging all the time.
3.You don’t need to spend lunch hour together every day
Lunch is the equivalent of school’s recess for adults. While office love might imply that you take advantage of the lunch hour for a quick mid-day date, it is best avoided. Establish some rules for dating and schedule only a few lunches with each other. This will minimize you from becoming “that couple” to your co-workers and help you mingle with everyone. Also, too much together time may result in burnout.
4.If one of you is the other’s manager, don’t date
A boss and subordinate dating just doesn’t work. We repeat- it just doesn’t work so don’t think about it. If you are the boss and engage in an office hookup, you could find yourself embroiled in a “sexual harassment” suit. If you’re the subordinate, you could risk being fired. But if this is the love of your life, consider quitting the workplace before you start dating (officially).
5.Put career as your top priority
If you’re wondering whether PDA is OK, remember that your career should be at the foremost of your mind before you do anything about your relationship. Office PDA can make you the center of office gossip and also get you to a point where your career takes a backseat. At work, be professional and keep the PDA for personal time.
6.Plan for what happens if you breakup
Modern dating and workplace romance seems to have one biggest objection – dating a co-workers would get very weird if you were to breakup. As strange as it may seem, it would be prudent to discuss what to do if things don’t work out. The easiest thing to do is to be mature about your office romance and go back to treating your colleague as your professional colleague and nothing else.
7.If you’re sure, take it to the higher ups
If you started dating a colleague, and you are a serious couple, don’t keep it a secret anymore. Tell your bosses/high authorities/HR personnel or whoever it is that is on the must-know list. Assure them that you’ll continue to be professional, and keep things as open and un-sensational as possible.
8.Read your company policy
If you are in your dream job and the workplace policies are against dating in office, think twice before becoming involved with a coworker. A coworker might seem like the convenient thing out there because you spend so much time together, but be open to other options. If both of you feel strongly about your relationship, talk to the HR for any clauses stating exceptions.
9.Don’t give them preferential treatment
When you go public with your office romance, it could very well happen that people start to think that you are doing your office sweetheart favors and this could cause your reputation or even your job to be in jeopardy. When dating your coworker, treat them just like you would any other coworker.
10.Enjoy the experience
When workplace dating is successful, things can go really well. Happily couple-up colleagues are more likely to be happy at work and report higher job satisfaction. The office is also a great place to understand someone’s temperament and life goals.
Also, you will feel proud of your partner’s achievements when you are a part of their journey.