The Gamble of Workplace Romance
Because of how much time we spend at work, often more time than we have for socializing
outside of work, the chances of meeting someone that we're interested in at work is very
probable. But is romance compatible with success at work, or can it become a career disaster?
The answer is, it depends upon the company. In some organizations displays of affection
and workplace romances are common and are of no concern. In other organizations it may be
frowned upon or forbidden. Look around and observe what others are doing. Even if the
company has no written policies, the company culture may have unwritten rules about
Displays of affection such as hand-holding or kissing on the job can make many people feel
uncomfortable. It may result in you being the subject of company gossip and jokes. Even
simple on the job flirting can make some people feel uncomfortable and cause a decline in
employee cooperation and productivity. That's why some organizations have written policies
against workplace romance.
Flirting or having a relationship with your boss is never a good idea. Coworkers will
judge every assignment and every benefit you receive from the company as favoritism. And
after breaking up, which eventually happens in 99 percent of all relationships, your boss
can make your work life miserable. If you don't get fired, you may end up having to leave
the company anyway.
If You Do Choose Workplace Romance
If the attraction between the two of you is so strong that you want to gamble with a
workplace relationship, agree to some workplace rules. Displays of affection can make
your coworkers uncomfortable and change the workplace dynamics. Agree that there will
be no kissing, no hand-holding, and no displays of affection while at work, and no discussing
your relationship with coworkers.
Of course, what you do outside of work is your own business, but don't let your guard
down at after-work company functions. If eventually the two of you get married, married
people working for the same company is common and totally acceptable. However, displays of
affection, even between married couples, is in bad taste. Even when married and working
at the same company, working in the same department is not a good idea for your career
or for your marriage.