Workplace Romance: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
So, cupid has decided to strike, not a bad thing, is it? The timing is right, you are single soon-to-be-married, you have a career and you are on the right track up the corporate ladder. Only thing the place where he finally decided to land his bow and arrow is the same place where you eke out your daily sustenance.
Many young professionals are finding themselves dating in the office principally because in the tight schedules of their work, they have little time and ventures outside the workplace. It is also inevitable to fall in love if you are exposed to people with the same interests and professional background for over 50 hours. Your senses by reflex will start growing attraction towards your workmates and it is only a matter of time before you find yourself entangled in office romance. This has led to a never-ending debate surrounding the office dating subject? Is it right, is it ethical? What's wrong with it, anyway?
Time Efficiency: Those who advocate for office romance praise it for its role in efficiently saving time you would have to spend hitting the clubs in the evening to pick up beautiful women or scrolling through the lists of online dating sites searching for a 'hot single around you'. In fact, why should you look for a spouse when the office is full of beautiful women?
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Common Interests: There is also the high probability that since you work in the same workplace, you have spent some considerable time getting to know the significant other before you actually make the move. You most probably have already gauged her work ethic, communication skills and what-a-few. Dating a co-worker in this case becomes akin to taking a test-drive before you actually commit to buy! And we also cannot discount the fact that in most of the cases your interests and hers will coincide, which is an added advantage to maintaining a long term relationship.
Increased Work Morale: Knowing you are meet your significant other in the morning can be a source of motivation and can psyche you up most of the day. What this translates to (I hope your HR is listening!) is more output per capita for the company. Office romance can even even lead to better customer relations and PR for the company. Consider that if you are dating in the office, you will actually want to look your best and cheery throughout the day, won't you?
Trust, Trust and Trust: Dating at work also greatly reduces the chance of your partner cheating on you. After all, you are mostly on the same schedule.
- Let's be real, Office romance is downright awkward to most of your colleagues. It creates situation that require more than the normal workplace procedures to deal with. Fetch any examples from the other and try to visualize all the awkward situations that a romance in the office can take you through. Most office romance relationships for example have to be kept secret because of one or two reasons, with this secrecy in mind, try to imagine how you would like it when John or Peter is trying to get into flirt-mode with your significant other.
- Deeper and intimate knowledge of one another may lead to diminished respect at the workplace. And in case of a breakup, the shit would actually hit the fan. Trust me, you don't even want to go there!
- Constant contact with each other not only denies you some alone time but is could also lead to frictions in the relationship.
- If not handled properly and (sic) 'professionally' office romance could be recipe for a conflict of interest between work and relationship. How, for example, do you tell your boyfriend he is fired without hurting him? You should also guard against cases of allegations of favoritism in the office by avoiding office romance.
That's about it. But maybe you need to keep the following in mind before you let cupid immobilize you into office romance.
Consider the Long-term: Be sure it is going to last till... or have an exit mechanism in case the shit hits the ceiling. You don't wanna be caught working beside your ex-lover in that fieldwork report that your boss has demanded, or do you?
Professionalism: Keep it professional while in the office, you don't wanna be caught sharing some PDA and TLC in your boss's hours.
Company Code of Ethics: While inter-office dating may not necessarily be illegal, most companies have work ethics that stipulate how such situations should be handled. Make sure you are familiar with these rules and regulations before you let Cupid flatter your goosebumps.
Job Rank: You would generally be well-advised if you avoided dating someone who is either higher in the job rank or lower than you. Dating a subordinate may lead to allegations of favoritism while dating a superior may comprise your respect for them.