OFFICE ROMANCE: YES OR NO?
- JWB Post
- February 7, 2014
Office romance is no longer a rarity or a taboo as it was, with almost half our lives spent in the workplace, dating and being in relationships with those we work with, is getting more common. Before you jump off and ask your colleague for a date, remember that office romance is complicated and if gone wrong can affect your career and reputation. We give you the highs and lows of having a relationship with a co-worker.
Do: Keep your work separate from personal issues
It is very difficult to separate office issues from personal ones when both the partners are working in the same organisation. It takes two mature people to understand this and not let emotions affect your work performance.
Don’t: Broadcast your relationship
Even though you might not like it, it’s best to keep things quiet for as long as you can and maintain a professional relationship at work. Believe it or not, you will become the topic of discussion in the office if you’re not careful.
Do: Be sure it ends amicably
When you split, it can be extremely dirty if things are not handled properly. Since both of you will be in the same workplace. You will be seeing each other regularly and it can become highly uncomfortable.
Don’t: Mix business with pleasure
Don’t misuse your relationship to get ahead professionally. You don’t want to be tagged as the ‘office slut’. For as much as you may try to keep an office romance under wraps, word does get around. And if things don’t work out, unfortunately the tag will still remain.
Do: Date someone of equal status
One cannot deny the fact that power dynamics exist in the workplace. People are bound to talk if you get involved with a superior. And if you get a raise or a promotion, the only thing that will come to their mind will be that you were favoured more than the others for certain reasons.
Don’t: Make out or getting physical in the office premises
Public displays of affection in office are a no-no. Not only does it blacklist you as unprofessional, it also can be very embarrassing.
Consider also the Worst Case Scenario
- Office Gossip: In case your relationship is uncovered in ‘not so pleasant’ manner, there will be a min-scandal in the office. Your reputation as you know it would be tainted forever and you may also have to always deal with the whispers in the background.
- Bad Vibes: In case your relationship doesn’t work and both of you have separated on a sour note, the work environment will be seriously affected. Because you would not like to face the person, you just broke up with; your work will suffer.
- Career suffers: The way your relationship turns up also affects your career. If the management is not happy with the romantic link ups or if you have an ugly break up, you have to resign your position and face a career low.
- Harassment charges: A relationship with a subordinate gone wrong may even lead to sexual harassment charges framed against you. You may have to justify your actions and show that the relationship was consensual.
So remember before you begin a romantic liaison in your office, you need to think hard about the consequences and once you are convinced that the relationship is worth it, go for it!