Love in the workplace

It happens. You get a job in a company and love what you do. You spend eight or more hours a day with coworkers who share your skills, education, job interests, and work ethic. Attraction blooms. Maybe you look into the person’s eyes, and you just know. Or it may take awhile.

At some point you find your fingers touching your co-worker’s while reaching for the same menu or sticky note or financial report. You just happen to “bump into each other” more and more in the hall or the break room.  Love settles over the two of you like a light, happy cloak, then tightens its hold until you’re wrapped up together tighter than a straightjacket.

Workplace love. It’s wonderful. It’s exhilarating.

Is it wrong? Depends.

Workplace romances are tricky. CareerBuilder.com says you should check your company policy on dating. And be careful about dating your boss or your subordinate. Nearly one in five people have admitted to dating their boss, but supervisor/subordinate relationships are often frowned upon as these may lead to sexual harassment cases. Social recruiter and strategist Meghan M. Biro states in Glassdoor’s blog that boss/employee relationships can lead to job jeopardy and co-worker jealousy as well as fodder for the rumor mill.

Hey baby, meet me in the copy room after work.

So you’re dating your co-worker. You’re not alone. Glassdoor’s survey revealed that 51% of workers gave a thumbs up on co-worker romance. One in ten people have had sex in the workplace and one in five have thought about doing it. However, 54% agreed that ending a romance led to workplace awkwardness. 38% of people have dated a co-worker over the course of their career, and 31% of these romances led to marriage. While 63% were open about their workplace relationships, 37% kept theirs secret (careerbuilder.com). If you do form a love relationship with a co-worker, keep personal relationship issues outside work and work issues outside the relationship. Glassdoor’s career and workplace expert Rusty Rueff adds that you should keep it confidential until you’re sure you have a lasting relationship.

Health Guidance advises workers to stay away from anyone who is married. Having an adulterous relationship with
someone at work can be detrimental for your career, not to mention your character. Also, keep your hands off each other at work to avoid your own embarrassment as well as discomfort and “get a room” comments among your fellow co-workers. Keep your company emails to each other business as usual since your company may monitor these. Finally, be sure to continue your social relationships with your co-workers instead of limiting your break times to only your love interest.

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