Office romances are full of risk. Before you start flirting over the copy machine, think about where an office romance could take you. In fact, your company may have a firm policy discouraging dating a co-worker or at least dating a person within the same department.
Even if there’s no policy, you need to decide what’s going to be your personal policy about dating that new hot guy in the next cubicle. Granted, you spend many hours weekly at work. It’s only natural that you form friendships at work and occasionally socialize with co-workers after hours. Time spent away from work pressures can be great for building rapport among co-workers.
If your socializing turns into a romance, then all the rules change. You know that it’s tough enough to concentrate on the mundane chores of your job when your mind is swirling with images of your new man. But when he’s in the next cubicle, it gets much harder.
With any new guy, it’s easy to want to sneak personal phone calls and rush out at 4:59 p.m. to get a jump on parking lot traffic just to be with him. Imagine how much more distracting a romance would be if your guy was only a few desks or a floor away from you all day long?
Having your guy so close that you can sneak kisses in the supply room sounds wonderful, but it can also create some embarrassing situations. All of your relationship woes could – and probably would – become office fodder for the gossip mills.
Harmless courtship actions like blatantly flirting aren’t bad, but they can easily become inappropriate in a workplace. You may think no one else notices, but think again. They notice, they watch and they talk.
Then the first time you and your guy have a disagreement, you might as well post it on the office bulletin board. Everything about your demeanor and your reactions toward each other show when you’re having a fight. Then the grapevine heats up with speculation about how long before the romance is over and you two might even be teased about it. It’s not unheard of for co-workers to place bets on how long the relationship will last. That’s not reserved just for sitcoms on TV.
If you think these situations might feel uncomfortable at work, there’s only one way to make it worse – and that’s to date your boss. Whether he’s your immediate supervisor in the department or the Vice President in the corner office, you’re going to be seen as a social climber.
Anything good that happens to you, even if it’s a reward for work you did last quarter is going to be seen as favoritism because you’re dating the boss. So if you really do find romance in the office with a co-worker or the boss, consider changing departments or company locations to put some healthy distance between you and him.