It is not the most absurd thing in the world to develop feelings for someone that you spend so much time around. However, romance in the workplace can have negative effects on both of your careers. Here are some things to consider in order to make sure that it doesn’t blow up in your face.
Are You Sure?
The first thing to consider when you’re thinking of an office relationship is whether it’s worth it. There’s a lot of discomfort that can come with dating a coworker, and you should avoid it if you can. Sometimes, however, the chemistry overwhelms you and you feel you have to go for it. Even in those situations, make sure that you’ve considered how the relationship can affect your career, and that it is worth the risk to you.
Does Company Policy Prohibit Dating?
You should also find out from your human resources department whether or not relationships between coworkers are prohibited. If they are, and it is against company policy, then you should not go ahead with dating a coworker. Violating this policy could actually put both of your jobs at risk.
No Sexual Harassment, Please
If the dynamic between you in the workplace is one of worker and superior, you have to be careful. When asking out someone who works under you, you need to consider your words very carefully. If you come off as forceful, even through jokes, that is sexual harassment. Don’t even joke about not taking ‘no’ for an answer.
Don’t Flaunt The Relationship
If you do go through with it and end up dating a coworker, don’t flaunt the relationship. You should definitely inform your superiors, however, keep the displays of affection at work to a minimum. You don’t want to create an environment for your coworkers that is uncomfortable. When you’re in the office keep it professional.
If You Have Control Over Their Career Don’t Do It
It gets tricky if you work on projects together with the person. It gets even more tricky when that person is your superior, or you’re theirs. In those situations, the dynamics of your personal relationship can affect how you work together. It can become difficult to give feedback even when your partner isn’t performing as they should be. If this is your dynamic, you should really not get involved with your colleague.
What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Communication is very important when you are dating a coworker. You need to probably discuss the boundaries that you are going to maintain in the workplace. In addition to that, you need to discuss the possibility that it won’t work out. If it doesn’t work out, how will the two of you continue to handle your professional relationship?
Don’t Force It To Go On
It is probably more uncomfortable working with your ex than it is working with a less-than-ideal partner. However, that is no reason to stay in a relationship that is not working. It is better to end it and find out how best you can work with someone that you dated in the past than to force the relationship.
Needless to say, things can get complicated. Make sure that being with your coworker is something that you have really considered before you make a commitment that can affect both of your working lives.