Love can take place in the least unexpected places. Relationships springing up in the office are quite common to a lot of professionals these days. Since working individuals spend most of their time in the office than at home every day, their chances of meeting new people outside of work typically goes down. It is indeed not a surprise to find fellow officemates who become attracted to each other. As the long-hours culture tightens its grip, your job may be your best chance of finding your future life-partner. And why not? You may be a steely career person on the outside, but underneath you’re only flesh and blood.
Try to develop a genuine personal friendship first. This way you can simultaneously increase your certainty about your interest and hedge your bets against making an unwanted advance.
Don’t Tell Anyone
Keep it quiet for as long as possible and maintain a very professional relationship at work. Even though you have close friends at work, it’s not in your best interest to tell anyone ~> and that means anyone ~> about your relationship. If you tell just one person, eventually it will get around the office and you could get in trouble. The last thing you need is for people to gossip about the two of you as well as base their judgment on your work performance because of the office romance when it clearly has nothing to do with it. You better learn to be really, really discreet.
Keep It Professional
Romance in the office can be a real distraction from your wok, if you are not careful. Basically, this means no lovey dovey in the office. Sure, flirting during the day can be fun, but it can make your colleagues uncomfortable and create a hostile environment that could jeopardize your job. Both of you need to come to an agreement that you’re not going to let emotions affect your work. Remember, you had a job before you got all starry-eyed. Don’t let it interfere with your work in any way!
Keep Your Romance Away from Your Work Computer
Save the loves notes, dinner planning and other romantic correspondence for after office hours. You shouldn’t use the company email or other resources unless it’s for company business. You may send hundreds of messages each day, don’t think you can slip in a few to your new special someone on the corporate e-mail system. You never know who’s reading your office correspondence, and you don’t want to leave a trail of evidence that your weren’t working.
Establish the Ending Rules
Make a rule about what you are going to do if and when the relationship comes to an end. Couples should agree that they will not do anything to try to hurt the other in the workplace. Talk about how you’ll handle working together or moving on professionally like mature adults if a potential romance ended up on the rocks. Always remember that the workplace is not the venue for an all-out screaming match.
Overall, keeping an office relationship is difficult. Love at work could be the potential disaster for your career. If something goes wrong (read break up), you can’t avoid the person, especially if he or she sits only a few cubicles away. Dating a coworker will likely result in a long-term commitment due to the fact that relationships are already built on friendship, each person understands the other’s career pressures and responsibilities, and office couples generally have similar goals in life.