by Aderonke Adebayo
Love is a beautiful yet complicated concept. Its plethoric nature makes it almost impossible to determine who you will fall in love with or where you are going to meet the love of your life. It happens like a plunge pool where all the emotions fall in, and the workplace has proven to be one of those love centres, where people find love. We spend long hours during the week at work anyway.
Research has proven that being in contact/working in close proximity with a person for a long time could foster some sort of likeness for the person. Whether or not you decide to explore these feelings depends on you. However, workplace romantic relationships could get messy or really interesting – depending on the dynamics of the relationship. And, many companies kick against office romance.
But, is workplace romance totally a bad idea?
It depends on you and your feelings. Some people have tried it and it has worked out, others tried same and lost their way. The way your relationship would turn out depends on you, your partner and how far you are willing to go to make it work. So, you have to take your time to think about it, talk about it, weigh your options and consider the consequences and advantages of whatever you decide on. You may not want to lose your job over emotions that aren’t even real or that you aren’t sure of. Also, emotions can be tricky sometimes and you would be shocked to find out that you don’t exactly like the person as much as you thought you did.
Dating a co-worker would affect two aspects of your life; Career and Love life, so you need to keep calm and choose wisely.
Things to note before asking out a coworker, and while in a relationship with a coworker
- Before flirting with a coworker, ensure that he/she is single and available to avoid the awkwardness that follows, as unwanted advances could easily escalate into a case of sexual harassment.
- Ensure to earn your spot at work, so everyone knows you deserve the promotion or salary increase, not because you were with a coworker or your boss.
- If your romantic partner isn’t productive and there is someone else who can fill their spot and do it better, you should actually fire your partner and hire the better person. Its work and needs to be done.
- You need to establish clear rules of engagement. If you are going to date a coworker, you both need to have rules that guide the relationship. Some things are inappropriate and shouldn’t be done at the workplace, you both need to understand that and live by those rules.
- You cannot and should not discuss relationship matters on company time.
- Try to keep it a secret for as long as you can. The relationship could be exciting but when people start to find out, it could put a lot of pressure on you.
- It is better to do this when you guys are not in the same department, so you don’t run into each other every day, or if they are not your superior and you don’t have to report to them.
Consequences of dating at the workplace
- Indeed, it makes you look unprofessional, as it reflects bad work ethics, especially if you are in a relationship with your boss. It makes people think things are being handed to you because you are sleeping with the boss.
- You are privy to office gossip. No matter how great the relationship is, it could get uncomfortable when people start talking about you guys.
- It could lead to a decrease in your productivity. Dating someone at the workplace could get you distracted at work.
- You could find out that aside from work, you have nothing else in common which could be a very bad idea if you are looking at making it work long term.
- What happens when you break up? You may want to stay away but this is near impossible when you guys work in the same place.
Advantages of dating a coworker
- You have so much in common already, you guys can brainstorm and share ideas because you are a team and it would increase your productivity.
- It makes being a part of your partner’s day easier. There are times when you wonder what your partner is doing but you wouldn’t be able to find out till you get together after work. Dating a coworker takes away that mystery because you witness it, except you are not in the same line or department.
- It facilitates a good level of understanding. Your partner understands the pressures of your job and how much time and availability you can give to them. So they do not complain as much as someone who knows nothing about your job and how draining it could be.
- Working together builds some sort of rapport and closeness between you guys. You know almost everything about each other.
- You are already familiar with the person. It is easier to date someone you are already familiar with rather than a random guy that you just met at a bar. You might not know your coworker really well just yet but you know a little bit about them to get comfortable. There is some sort of uncertainty and insecurity that comes with meeting and dating someone you don’t really know.