Mention to your friends that you’re interested in a co-worker, and the unanimous response is bound to be: don’t do it. But what if it could be something great? You wouldn’t be the first or last working woman to make this scenario, well, work.
About 40 percent of people have dated a co-worker, and, get this: out of that bunch, one third ended in marriage, according to a CareerBuilder survey.
But don’t forget the other side of the, er, cubicle: in that same survey, 5 percent left their job because of failed workplace love. To suss out how to land on the good side of those stats, read on for the most essential pointers.
DO keep it quiet when the relationship is new. Though you’re dying to gush about all the details of last night’s date, resist the urge to spill until you’ve mutually decided it’s serious.
DON’T think you can keep it a secret forever, though. The truth usually comes out (and rumours are no fun), so you’re better off choosing who to tell before they hear it in the lunchroom.
DO check your company’s tolerance policy. It’s crucial to find out if your employer is lax, has specific rules for this type of relationship or if proceeding can get you fired.
DON’T frequently visit his desk or spend excessive private time in his office – most of your co-workers will notice when a couple takes extra long to “review a file.” Plus, slacking off, flirting and giggling is a definite way to piss off those around you – leave that for after hours. The bonus: you’ll look forward to your together time even more.
DO hold yourself back from an elevator quickie. As tempting as it may be, you won’t live it down if anyone catches on to your naughty behaviour.
DON’T give in to the temptation to bring your relationship issues to work. Leave last night’s argument at home and try to avoid divulging new quirky discoveries about him to your lunch-hour yoga buddies.
DO maintain an appropriate distance during office hours and even on work trips. This means no excessive e-mailing (your employer may be keeping track), and no PDA in or near the building, even if you think you’re alone.
DON’T get involved if you or your crush has someone at home. An office romance is hardly a fair way to get out of a current relationship, so make sure you are both single before you mingle.
DO be prepared to end things amicably. If it doesn’t work out, strive your absolute hardest to break up nicely. You’ll likely have to see your ex often – if not every day – so keep that mind if the romance cools.