Workplace Relationships: To Do or Not To Do?

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Workplace relationships. It’s inevitable that this topic should crop up. Dating coworkers is a pretty common thing and many long term relationships begin by meeting at work. It makes sense. You’re around your coworkers for a good deal of time and it’s easy to get to know a coworker gradually overtime rather than having to approach someone at a bar or other social setting. It’s why so many people ask out people from classes they share than regular strangers. These settings provide the perfect opportunity to get to know someone safely without having to put too much out on the line. Who wants to get rejected during a night out with the guys when you can just take some time and learn the story about the cute brunette working down the cubicle from you. As G.I. Joe says, knowing is half the battle.

Still, workplace relationships can be a sticky proposition. Employers often frown on them because they could encourage unprofessional behavior among their underlings. Think about how many stories you have heard about Dick and Jane from accounting using the copy room for their own express purposes? Not only is it gross when you need to run off some copies but it can stir up the pot of office politics. Employers, and most employees, like the workplace to be running at a slow sizzle rather than a quick boil.

Nevertheless, the chances of getting entangled in a workplace romance are there. If you’re entering the workplace soon or just snagged your first job make sure you treat this a little differently than when you took that extra biology class just to get to know that one redhead who lived down the hall from you.

You’re in a professional setting. That means a lot of the natural impulses guys and gals feel need to be restrained. No feet on your desk. No naps. Don’t drink before noon. Don’t sleep with your coworkers if you can help it. Granted, employers hands are largely tied when it comes to employee relationships. Most companies have disclosure policies that require you to openly acknowledge that you’re in a relationship with so and so. This protects both you two and the company. Makes things run smoothly, just like a relationship, when honesty is involved.

However, employers can often frown on their workers shacking up with each other. This can be exaggerated if you’re dating someone higher or lower up than you are. Relationships in the office can get awfully complicated when pay grades and ranks get involved. Do you really have a thing for your secretary or your boss? Better make sure you’re on your ‘A’ game unless you want the rest of the staff turning hostile towards you because of perceived unfair treatment.

Having an office romance is up to you. As long as you cooperate with your employer’s disclosure policies you should have little to fear in terms of being fired. The feelings of your fellow coworkers are another story.

Any horror stories about office romances? Sound off in the comment section below.

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