Sure, there is plenty to like about dating a coworker, and not just because it’s the “bad thing to do.” Work is a naturally stressful place and it does feel nice to have a sympathetic ear, someone whom you can share with and help, and relate to because of your common goals and experiences. In fact, you may find that as soon as you meet someone special you can’t wait to get to work! All of this romance may even boost your ego some, especially if people around the office start talking about the two of you as if you’re the office stud and office "It Girl".
However, there are definitely some rules to follow, and if you brazenly throw caution to the wind, don’t be surprised if you end up reviled by the boys, resented by the girls, discriminated against by the boss, and perhaps fired by the corporation entirely. Let’s break this lesson down into 10 easy to follow tips.
Don’t treat the workplace like your personal time.
This is not just for the sensibilities of the office, but also for your own sake! Not only is 24-7 romance exhausting, but it’s also going to affect your work quality and professionalism. The best thing to do is to give each other some space and not take offense when duty calls, or when one of you needs a moment in private.
Don’t send personal messages on company-owned computers.
If you must text each other, use your own phone. Do not send messages to each other during working hours, just to avoid any embarrassing situations.
Wait until the end of the day (as in you’re both going home) to send angry texts or start fights.
Believe us, you DON’T want to make a scene at work, or speak a loaded sentence in spite and have to itch the rest of the day, just waiting to start an argument.
Establish boundaries and understandings early on.
This is all the more important when you’re dating a boss or subordinate. In fact, some people say not to date anyone outside your level of authority, simply because of the sexual harassment issue. At the very least, establish boundaries early on.
Keep the affair private but not “secret”.
You don’t want to flaunt it or talk about it, but you don’t have to go out of your way to hide it. Your coworkers will eventually find out.
Speaking of public displays of affection - this will upset your coworkers and immediately attract negative attention from your superiors.
Don’t be ignorant of security cameras.
It’s fairly common (if not widespread) for office lovers to fool around in elevators, around office desks, closets and other places that violate protocol. We’re not going to tell you that it’s okay to do this…but what we really want to emphasize is this: check for security cameras. Do yourself a favor, yeah?
Make sure your career comes first.
Relationships come and go, and there’s no guarantee this affair will end in marriage or commitment. So don’t sacrifice a promising career over an experimental relationship.
Have a plan if the relationship doesn’t work out.
This means it’s okay to discuss beforehand how to treat each other should the relationship end. Determine that that you’re going to be communicative, polite, and not vengeful, if for no other reason, than to injure the other person’s career.
No drama at work!
No throwing things at each other, especially cell phones. Whether your date has an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, it really hurts when it lands!
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