Have you ever had an office romance? It seems now that summer is here, love is in the air wherever you are. My Facebook and Twitter have been covered in naughty comments about that cute guy from accounts, or how hot someone’s boss is looking this morning, and there have been more than a few flirting tips being thrown around. But true love doesn’t always run smooth – so how do you know you could handle an office romance?
Yep, this one is really important. While you can probably get away with texting each other during the day, and maybe the occasional flirt when nobody is around, you can’t be hanging out at each other's desks all day, or giggling like a schoolgirl. Not only will it alert everyone to your blossoming romance, but it doesn’t look professional, either. If you can’t keep it under control (whatever thoughts are going through your mind), avoid an office romance!
Lunch doesn’t change when you start dating a coworker. Honestly. It’s still just supposed to be a time when you can grab food and chat to colleagues – and it’s best that it stays that way. Yes, it might feel like a right laugh to disappear off with him, and come back with disheveled uniforms and big smiles, but it’s not so entertaining to your colleagues. And people don’t like to be ditched in favor of a new love. Keep at least some lunches normal.
Without blushing like a tomato, giggling at everything he says, or playing with your hair. During the day, you have to treat him like a coworker, and respond professionally and appropriately during meetings or conversations. As soon as work is out, you can treat him however you like.
Don’t use email or your office messaging system to send him loved-up messages. IT can see all of them, and if any of them get a little risqué, they’ll likely be flagged up to your managers, too. Most companies use an automatic system for this, so IT don’t even have to report it. Keep your private conversations private – and either out of work hours, or use your mobile phone.
Need to have a serious discussion, or had a big fight? Keep it to yourselves, and revert to completely-professional mode during the day. You might be dying to have it out with him, but it’s not the time or the place. Keep those serious relationship conversations for your house, or your car, or anywhere but the office, even if you see him more there.
If things start getting serious, you’ll probably need to tell your manager. While it’s a good idea to be discreet and keep it on the lowdown originally, it won’t last for long. Most people can spot a couple a mile away. When it gets to that point when you start getting serious, don’t try to hide it anymore. Just be cool, professional and totally in control.
What are you going to do if it goes catastrophically wrong? If he leaves you, or if you uncover huge differences of opinion? Finding a new job might not be totally realistic, so if you are going to engage in an office romance, you need a plan for when it ends. Will you be able to work together again? Will you try to transfer departments?
Office romances can feel like the perfect solution to these endless summer days, and I know some adorable couples who first met across the photocopier! Don’t underestimate how much harder it can make the dating game, though. Only go there if you really, really like the person, and maintain your professionalism at all times. He’s not worth risking your career over! Would you ever have an office romance?
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