When you work so closely with similar people, occasionally attractions develop which can lead to you dating someone in the workplace.
Dating in the workplace can be fraught with problems. Nevertheless, around 16% of employees have considered it, or have indulged in it. And for around a third of those, they will actually end up deciding to get married.
Nevertheless, many companies are nervous about their employees developing romantic connections, and some businesses actually ban their workers from forming them. If you find yourself developing feelings for a co-worker, there are three important rules that you should consider, which we have listed below:
1. Know your company policy
Many businesses will ban employees from dating by instituting anti-fraternization policies. If this is the case, you may need to way up the pros and cons between the importance of your career and how much the object of attraction means to your future. If you really cannot stop falling in love, one or both of you may need to consider finding a job elsewhere.
Companies are nervous about liability when employees date. Businesses wish to avoid such pitfalls of sexual harassment claims, which could come up if a relationship goes sour. In the US, several companies have fired high profile CEOs for developing workplace relationships, even with ex-employees. Furthermore, to cover their backs, many businesses will not even permit spouses or relatives to work together.
Some businesses will allow relationships between co-workers, but ban relationships between supervisors and subordinates. Ultimately, this is because the company can then become liable for legal claims of favoritism, harassment or discrimination. Also, many companies view any relationship that their senior executives develop with a lower rung employee as unprofessional, and it can ruin future career prospects.
2. Remain professional
If your workplace is okay with employees developing relationships, there is still basic etiquette that it is important to maintain. You and your partner must be able to separate business and pleasure. In other words, avoid acting like you are in a relationship at work. It will be very important to discreetly tell your employer, and some companies have a love contract that they would like you to both sign.
It is important that the company know you are both consenting. This is so that the company avoids entanglement in a scorned lover initiating a legal battle over a claims of sexual harassment.
When at work, it is important to remember that you are within a professional environment and to act accordingly. The office is not a place to socialize. It is important to act towards the object of your affection as you would any other co-worker. This is important for many reasons.
Your other co-workers could begin to feel that any team work is unbalanced. Additionally, they could spread malicious gossip about you. It is critical that you refrain from public displays of affection in the workplace. Furthermore, professionalism is especially important if you have had a fight before work. You cannot bring that tension and frustration into the office, as it will hinder production.
3. Pre-plan what a break-up would entail
If you are going to indulge in dating at work, you must be realistic that at some point you could break-up. Firstly, you must think through whether it is worth indulging in a mere office fling if it could ultimately destroy your career.
If you don’t truly know the person you want to date, you obviously then don’t know how they could react if things go sour. Make sure you only risk a workplace relationship if you are confident of where you stand with the other individual.
When you begin a workplace relationship, despite sounding counter-intuitive, you should have a clear discussion about how you will approach your jobs if you were to break-up. Could you both handle seeing each other’s faces each day if you have bad memories with that person?
Would you be able to remain amicable and professional in the office? Some people are attracted to workplace dating as there is an air of covertness or secretiveness about it. Before you decide to date someone in the office it is important you analyze both of your motivations before you take the big step into each other’s beds.
Mothers and daughters discuss dating and sex