“Don’t s**t where you eat.”
Yea, I said it.
Besides sleeping in your bed, most people spend a majority of their time at work. A minimum of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, equals a lot of time spent with fellow coworkers and colleagues. Many great friendships blossom, and some will inevitably turn into something more romantically involved.
Good or bad idea?
Hollywood does a phenomenal job portraying office romance as completely normal. Your typical work related love stories that lead to a happy ending for both the couple, their coworkers, and the company involved, is hardly the case. Examples can be made from one of the greatest TV series of all time, “The Office.”
In all actuality, most office romances are accurately portrayed by Michael Scott and Jan, instead of the Jim and Pam love story couples aspire to. Significant others typically don’t want to be around each other 24/7, and if arguments occur at home, they’ll likely drag their way into work, and vice versa.
Now of course, there’s always a few lovers that have no issues working together. If you’ve been dating awhile before working together, AND are used to being around each other all the time, then of course it can work. I have lifelong friends that work together, but I still don’t recommend office dating for the majority of people.
Think logically, not romantically. A lot easier said than done, since emotions typically rein superior over people’s decisions when involved romantically with significant others. A few things need to be made perfectly clear:
- The odds of your new relationship ending are much higher than him or her being “the one” or lasting a lifetime.
- If you’re new relationship does fail, you may be asked or required to leave your current position of employment.
- Human resources WILL get involved, and it won’t be nice.
All these issues should make you question whether or not your near or future office romance is worth it, and guess what, it most likely isn’t.
The most detrimental effects of office romance occur with hierarchical relationships. Studies have shown that coworkers have no issues with couples dating as peer-to-peer. The ethical problems and issues occur when people date in different hierarchical powers.
Just think Michael Scott and Jan, or Jim and Pam when Jim becomes a regional manager. Coworkers will believe that this inevitably leads to unfair advantages, and rightfully so since it tends to. Eventually, these coworkers will not trust those involved in hierarchical relationships, disrupting office productivity, and leading to the potential loss of very qualified employees.
LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF FIRST
What do I do if I’m already in an office relationship?
What do I do if he/she is worth the risk and I want to start a relationship at work anyway?
First off, good luck.
Secondly, you need to look into your company’s written AND unwritten policies on office romance. You could get fired if you don’t follow your company’s rules and regulations.
Document everything. Texts, emails, messages, save them all. This will help prove yourself innocent if accused of sexual harassment.
Jim and Pam got a few things right, mainly how to conduct yourself around a romantic partner at work. They kept their relationship private for as long as they could. They kept their public displays of affection at bay, preferably for non-working hours only. Nothing really changed at work between pre-relationship Jim and Pam and after the relationship began Jim and Pam.
I know this will come off as extremely selfish, but look out for your own well-being, not your significant others. If not, you run the high risk of being burned, possibly ruining your career.
Lastly, office romance is becoming increasingly more common in this day and age, but I believe problems will continue until specific lines are drawn. I just go by these three office dating cardinal rules just to be safe:
1.) Never date your boss because they can fire you.
2.) Never date your subordinate because they can sue you.
3.) Never date your peer because they can take your promotion.
Hope you all enjoyed this week’s post! If you’ve missed last week’s minimalist post on picking up your closet, click here! As always, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“If there is a small voice saying maybe this is not going to work………listen.”
Book of the Month: “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin