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So, You Have the Hots for a Co-Worker

Most people are not enthusiastic about the idea of dating a co-worker. Even though times are changing and people have a different stance on this and other ideas like online dating, there is still a lot of hesitation.

Agreed, office romance can be a landmine filled. That is because you are trying to juggle two very important departments of your life: your career and you love life. Relationships can be messy enough by themselves. Take it to work and the aftermath of it all will be an emotional cake fight.

But it doesn’t have to be. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a relationship with a co-worker. It all depends on whether you handle yourself maturely and professionally. In fact, 40% of employees said in a survey by Career Builder that they’ve had at least 1 relationship with a co-worker. And it was found that 31 out of 100 office relationships lead to marriage. Those aren’t exactly bad numbers.

Here are some things to consider before you start dating a co-worker.

What is the Company Policy Concerning Office Relationships?

After allegations of sexual misconduct, the CEO and founder of American Apparel was given the sack by the board. Weeks after the incident, the company updated its policy to forbid management from having sexual relationships with subordinates.

But not all companies need such incidents in order to take such a stance on office relationships. Relationship drama hampers performance, more so if the other person is in the same office as you. This has made some companies have a forbidding policy on all relationships involving co-workers. Before kicking it off, make sure your relationship does not go against any company rules.

How Will You Handle the Break Up?

You might think your relationship is here to stay by all indications. It’s okay to be positive, but you will be much better off being realistic. That means facing the possibility of breaking up and what it will mean for your jobs. You have to do this before things start.

Your failed relationship will potentially wreak havoc in your work life unless you lay out safe channels for the destructive energy. Will one ask to be transferred to another department? Have you made up your mind to remain talking at least for work purposes even after you break up? This is why it is advisable to date someone from a different department if you can. At least you won’t have to talk to them every day.

You also have to be sure what kind of person you are dating. Are they mature enough not to spread gossip about your private life through the entire company? Things won’t be pretty of those mean words you said about the lady in the corner office get out.

Are You Able to Separate Work and Romance?

This is what your company is interested in. Management could care less about your relationship so long it does not affect your performance, that of your partner, or that of your co-workers. Talk things out right from the start and lay down rules on how you will conduct yourselves at work.

You also want to be careful how you break the news. In the casual stages, it is better to keep things to yourselves, then inform selected colleagues as things get serious. It is also a good idea to let your boss know, that is if you know what you’re doing isn’t against company policy in the first place.

You should also allow your partner to be charming. No-one would enjoy seeing their partner flirting with other people but office banter is normal. You will have to be mature enough to handle that.

If seeing a coworker seems to come with too many rules, there are lots of people you can date instead, you just have to know where to look. Online dating is quite a thing these days, and it is still building momentum. Gone are the days when people would frown upon using the internet to find partners. Today, most people that are in the dating pool have at least tried online dating once. A good number of relationships that start online result in marriage. Why not try it out?