6 dos and don’ts for office romance

Business News | 9 Feb |

It’s no wonder people find romance at the office according to this article from The Huffington Post a typically person spends 13 years and two months at work. Calculate that out: the average person works 50 years over their life that’s 25 percent of a lifetime.

Recently CareerBuilder’s released their annual Valentine’s Day survey, office romance hit an all-time low last year with 36% of workers reporting dating a co-worker, down from 41 percent the prior year (and 40 percent in 2008). Does that mean we’re relegated to online dating (or the old fashioned way of meeting someone in a bar)? Not necessarily although dating someone in the office can be tricky!

If you’re dating or thinking of dating someone in the office make sure to read up on these dos and don’ts for office romance:

DO

  • Think twice (or three times) before dating the boss even if he’s single. If you break up, it will have an effect on your career aspirations (and probably not in a good way!). Even if you don’t break up and it becomes public, one of you will have to change departments (or worse, your boss may be fired for breaking company policy). 
  • Speaking of which, before saying yes, know your company’s policies as many forbid co-workers from dating. So, read up before grabbing that cocktail together!  
  • Keep your personal business separate from business business. No one wants to hear dating antics (good or bad) about your co-worker!

DON’T

  • Date within your department – up, down or across. Harder said than done when you’re in daily contact with your co-workers. However, nothing good happens when things end.
  • Address issues in the office. When you spend night and day together, it’s easy to try to get in one more dig from the fight the night before. Or perhaps you abrupt or argumentative when making discussing work issues. Let it go when you’re in the office.  
  • Get frisky in the office, including via email. Company email is not private so assume HR will be reviewing your correspondence. Many companies have cameras in the office so if you thought HR reading your emails is bad, think of video footage to go with your love notes.

Not all is negative, according to that same CareerBuilder survey, 31% of office romances ended in wedding bliss. However, that leaves the vast majority of relationships on the outs. So date at your own risk!

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