Those stolen glances over the water cooler, the alluring emojis at the end of an email, is there anything more romantic or enchanting than the workplace fling? Yes, but that still doesn’t stop the odd office romance taking hold. If you find yourself in the throes of a tryst here’s what to do.
Check the handbook
There’s rules around this sort of thing so best to err on the side of caution, particularly if your partner in love is a level above or below you in the company structure. Most organisations will have policies or guidelines in place to advise employees on what’s acceptable. Some may even have contracts to limit their liability, in the likely chance everything goes south. If in doubt, approach your trustee HR manager with a not-so-subtle hypothetical.
Even if there’s no rules in place about dating your colleagues, it’s a good idea to keep your relationship under wraps. Be professional and avoid overly affectionate displays around the office. Monday mornings can be difficult enough without being subjected to your coworkers love fest, so keep it in check!
Build a Chinese wall
Endeavour to keep your professional relationship separate from your personal one. That means wherever possible don’t speak about the office at home and don’t speak about home in the office. You can’t allow your romantic feelings to impact your work decisions and if you’re working in the same team you need to be able to disagree without romantic repercussion. Under no circumstances should you share confidential information about your coworkers with your partner. It could lead to a world of pain and in extreme cases lead to you losing your job.
No fights in the office
If and when it all comes to a hideous end, try to keep your boundaries. Just as you showed restraint by not mounting one another on the photocopier in the early stages of your relationship, show restraint by not pouring coffee on their face in the aftermath. Do your best to maintain some distance and channel your upset, guilt and rage into a more worthwhile endeavour. Like becoming Beyoncé.