Becky works with Jack. Becky likes Jack.
Jack works with Becky. Jack likes Becky.
If you ask some individuals, Jack and Becky CANNOT date because they work together. After all, things could go really bad for Jack and Becky.
What if they do date and their relationship goes awry? What if they can’t stand seeing each other anymore and they have to quit their jobs? Or worse, what if their relationship drama seeps into the office and they get fired?
These questions are why so many people believe that office romances are a big no-no. A lot of risk that doesn’t seem worthy.
Others, including plenty of modern day surveys, suggest the contrary—workplace romances are possible and can work.
The Australian Human Rights Commission even acknowledges the inevitability of office romances, stating it’s “common for relationships and attractions to develop in the workplace.”
Some companies adopt policies to ban or limit these relationships in order to cover their bums for liability reasons.
If you find yourself working somewhere where these policies don’t exist, then deciding whether it’s appropriate to rendezvous with a co-worker is up to you.
There are three possible outcomes for inter-office relationships:
- It doesn’t work and both your reputation and career are tainted.
- It doesn’t work, but you’re both mature enough to not let it affect your careers.
- It works!
As simple as that.
When people Google search, “Can workplace romances actually work,” it’s usually because they find themselves in such a relationship and want to find articles telling them what they want to hear.
This isn’t one of those articles though, because quite frankly, I can’t tell you to GO FOR IT or RUN AWAY NOW. Every situation is different and should be treated as such.
What I can do, however, is offer a few think-smart tips on navigating the whole work-dating thing.
If it’s against the rules, don’t do it
People will find out about your fling, date or relationship. That is absolutely inevitable.
And if they do find out and it’s against the rules, your career could suffer a tough blow.
Keep it private
That means no pre-meeting good luck smooches before heading off to an important presentation and no snack break cuddles.
Aside from the fact that your co-workers don’t want to see all of that, it’s important to exercise professionalism at work.
Don’t ALWAYS go on breaks together
You probably get to love on each other before and after work, so meeting up for every single coffee or lunch break isn’t necessary.
Hang out with your co-workers every once in a while instead of just each other. It’ll definitely keep them from labeling you as the clingy couple from the office.
Avoid dating your boss
No matter which way you try to string it, it’s not a good idea to date your supervisor, manager or anyone who you consider your “boss.”
If things don’t go the way you hoped, the last thing you want is getting fired by the person it didn’t work out with or getting sued by your employee for harassment.
Also, it’s not constructive to give anyone the notion that you’re sleeping your way to the top.
Simply be smart
Involving yourself with anyone at work is always a risk. Think about what you’d do if it didn’t work out, and if you’re in a serious relationship with your co-worker, discuss this with them as well.
Make constructive choices and remember; no relationship should be worth negatively tainting your professional reputation.