Before you get wrapped up in all the on-screen romances that are formed at the office, you should stop and contemplate the consequences of your attempt to be the real life Jim & Pam.
We’re all for prioritizing the love of your life over your career, but make sure you think about all the details.
There are a few things to think about if you’re contemplating an office romance:
- Office Size: If you’re in an office of less than 100 people you’re going to see that person pretty frequently. If it ends, or ends badly you will have to work with that person constantly.
- Office Policies: Some office have very strict policies on office fraternization and if they find out you didn’t comply you can get fired. Make sure to at least read through that portion of the Employee Handbook.
- Office Relationship: Is this person your manager, your employee or on your team? The biggest concern is that you/your significant other would be shown favoritism or other employees would be discriminated against due to the romance. Most office couples lay low for this exact reason.
- Are you willing to risk your job?: Either person in the relationship could be let go or be discriminated against even if the relationship doesn’t violate any employee guidelines. You should be prepared that you might have to find work elsewhere.
- Make sure you have an exit strategy: Just like in business, if the relationship goes south, make sure you have a back up plan. During the relationship refrain from exchanging office emails, office chats or texting on the company phones. Definitely watch out for security cameras when engaging in sexual in office, escapades.
According to experts at NBC News the stigma of dating a coworker is fading. The NBC New experts assume it’s because of the relaxed nature of millennial’s that’s blurring the lines between personal and professional life. We think it’s because of the relaxation of the work environment in general, less suits and ties, more fun and work culture building.
Interestingly, firms have increased the amount of policies about office romance. According to a survey 42% of HR’s executives have written a policy about interoffice romance, double the rate of 2005. This means with the increase in relaxation of the office, office romances are more likely to occur.
If you do date a co-worker we recommend keeping on the down low. Definitely don’t parade around making out in front of the water fountain. Besides, sometimes being a little secretive can be exciting, to a point. If it’s a serious relationship just keep your office policies in mind when going public.
Bottom line – Is it Okay to Date an Office Co-worker? We would. And we have, and it worked out just fine. But tread carefully when dating subordinates or bosses. Make sure to have an exit plan in case things don’t pan out.