If you take a survey of 20 people I bet half would say it’s ok to date someone you work with and half would say to you it’s not a good idea. Everyone has their own opinion on it. On one hand you spend the majority of your time during the week at your job so the chances of connecting with someone there is pretty good. On the other hand you see these people the majority of your time during the week so if it doesn’t work out you may not be able to get away from them like you may want to.
In the profession I work in – a 24 hour news station – it is pretty common for people to date each other. I think this is due to the crazy hours everyone has to work. Some of my co-workers come in at 2am and finish up their day at 11am while others are starting their day at 2pm and leaving at midnight. It’s only natural to connect with people who are awake the same hours as you are.
I will confess I have had an office relationship and it was off and on for 3 years. It was both fun and difficult. Throw in his ex-girlfriend who also worked there and it made for some interesting times. However, our relationship NEVER interfered with our professional work and I am proud to say that.
Even though our relationship didn’t end in a happily ever after story, I still believe that love can be found in the office and I am all for it if it is done professionally.
- MOST IMPORTANT your work comes first
NEVER sacrifice your job or put your job in jeopardy. Both parties should understand that the other person’s job comes first. If something comes up that is job related that may interfere with plans don’t turn it into a big issue. This shouldn’t be too much of an issued because you work for the same company and most likely have some of the same common goals for the company.
The guy I dated did IT for the company we worked at and was on call 24/7. He got calls all hours of the night and had to go into the office all hours of the night and on weekends. Although it got frustrating at times, I understood that it was beyond his control.
- Don’t make people feel uncomfortable in the office
Ok, I’m assuming this is common sense but just in case – if you are dating someone you are working with don’t hang all over them in the office. Don’t flirt, don’t give each other looks in meetings, don’t make people around you feel uncomfortable. There are some companies that do not support dating in the work place so acting this way will only make you look worse.
- Keep it on the DL – Down Low
The best way to make your office relationship a non-issue to others at work is to just keep it quiet. No one needs to know about your private life outside of the office. If you choose to share it with people you work with share it with them outside of the office. Let them know you are keeping the relationship on the DL and that you would like to not talk about it at work.
What happens if it doesn’t work out?
So what happens if your relationship doesn’t work out and you two break up? Well you could always quit your job, move out-of-state and find a new job….but something tells me that’s not too easy for everyone to do nor do you want to do that.
- Don’t jeopardize your job or your (now) exe’s job
The relationship may not have ended in the best way. You might be bitter about it. You might have been cheated on. You might have been done dirty and you just want revenge. Work is not the place…let me repeat: work is NOT the place for revenge. It will not shine a good light on you and it will make you look very unprofessional to everyone else.
- You are able to ignore in a professional sort of way
The best way you are going to get through this break-up is to just ignore and move on. I know this is easier said than done but just think of it a few hours out of your day that you need to get through. Focus on your work when you are in the office. If you need to talk to your ex about a work issue talk ONLY about that. Keep it quick and keep it professional. It will get easier as time goes on.
- If you have a bad day excuse yourself
Break-ups are hard and if you are anything like me you cry if someone looks at you the wrong way. I have had my days of crying in my office with the door closed or even locking myself in the car to cry. I couldn’t help it. When I need to cry I need to cry and if it’s during work hours there’s not much I can do. However, I made sure no one saw me. If it was really bad I may have taken a personal day. The point is we are all human. If we need some time to our self then take it.
Everyone has different views on whether or not it is a good idea to have an office relationship. I don’t think you should go out and search for love in the work place but if there happens to be someone that catches your eye and you both connect don’t immediately write it off.
My main point in the post is if you decide to get involved with someone you work with, just be sure to always be professional. Make sure you think about the consequences if it doesn’t work out and decide if you can handle it. It may be the best decision you ever make!