Dating a Co-Worker: Can You Make an Office Romance Work?
Work romance is increasingly common. More than two thirds of millennials say they’re not opposed to dating a co-worker. But dating a co-worker comes with a unique set of issues. What’s the correct way to behave? Who do you have to tell about your relationship? What if you break up? How do you keep an office romance from having a negative impact on your career? Check out the dos and don’ts of dating a co-worker!
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Do: Know Your Company’s Policy
Most workplaces have rules set in place about co-workers dating each other. Some companies may forbid it, while others may have rules about supervisors and direct reports. You may have to disclose your relationship to your boss or Human Resources. Know your company’s policy before your relationship with a co-worker gets serious.
Don’t: Date Your Boss or Your Assistant
Office romances are complicated enough without worrying about getting fired or having to fire your love interest. This kind of relationship is most likely forbidden at any office and it’s not worth ruining your career over it. Can we say, sexual harassment lawsuit?
Do: Date Someone You Click With
You need more than a sexual attraction to have a successful office romance, so don’t agree to hookups with a co-worker. Find someone you have something in common with—other than your place of employment. If you’re attraction is on multiple levels it’s worth it to consider dating a co-worker.
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Don’t: Sleep Around With Multiple Co-Workers
Gossip travels fast in an office and you don’t want it to be about you and how many people you’ve hooked up with in the company. It’s going to get back to your boss eventually and you aren’t going to get promoted for being the office player.
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Do: Give it Time Before You Tell You Co-Workers
Don’t tell your co-workers about your relationship unless you and your love had made it official. It may feel awkward to keep things secret, but it would be even more awkward if your relationship ended shortly after you told your co-workers about it. Make sure there is actually something there worth sharing. In other words, a few dates don’t merit public acknowledgement.
Don’t: Post About it on Social Media
Keep your office romance off of Facebook, especially if you are friends with co-workers. But if things get serious, discuss updating your social media accounts with your partner before you post to them for the world to see.
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Do: Be Professional at Work
Keep your hands off each other whether the rest of the office is aware of your relationship or not. Don’t tease each other or call each other by pet names. Don’t flirt. Keep your hands off each other. Save the public displays of affection for off-work hours.
Don’t: Turn Your Breakup Into Office Drama
If things don’t work out, you’ll still see each other every day. You need to be professional and civil toward one another. Quitting doesn’t have to be an option, but being respectful toward each other goes a long way toward winning the respect of your boss and co-workers.