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Intra-Office Dating - Right Or Wrong?

Dating colleagues can be a tad ‘taboo’ within the office. It may seem like a good idea at first, but when the spark fizzles out all that may be left is awkwardness. For this reason, some companies place a ban on intra office dating.

It is easy to go into a job thinking ‘I will not date a co-worker’, but things can easily heat up between two people. Is dating a colleague a good or bad decision? Well, it is a bad decision in most cases. Although interestingly, the 'Workplace Options' survey found a staggering number of respondents said they would in fact date a co-worker!

The 'Workplace Options' survey showed a huge 85% of 18-29 year olds, 35% of 30-46 year olds and 30% of 47-66 year olds would date co-workers in the office. This particular survey also found 40% of 18-29 year olds would date their supervisors. Nevertheless, with office dating stems the possibility of tension, the chance of work being neglected, and even the development of a not-so-impressive reputation.

One has to think, is a blossoming relationship really worth losing your job over? Keeping the relationship on the down-low is probably the best decision to make; only admitting to it when directly asked.

Openly dating a colleague can be very intense. Not only will you be working with that person all day, all week, but you will socialise with them outside of work, and potentially even move in with them! It can be very suffocating to be around one person all the time and this can lead to arguments. Having your own group of friends separate from your partner, is an important way to break up the intensity of being together for long periods of time.

If you do decide to take the plunge and have a workplace relationship, take a moment to read over some basic rules:

#1 Check company policies regarding intra-office dating

This cannot be stressed enough; after all, you so don't want to lose the job you've worked so hard for. More importantly, if you have your eyes set on someone higher up the career ladder within the company than yourself, being seen as a 'favourite' just because you are dating the boss can dampen your progression and social standing amongst co-workers.

#2 Think to the future.

This office relationship may not end well. It is important to think about this before hand, even discuss this with the other person involved. Can you both handle a break up like adults, even if it is particularly messy? After all, no-one likes ‘he said-she said’ rumours.

#3 When in the office, keep it professional.

Your co-workers do not want to see you staring lovingly at each other, or acting like love-sick teenagers. It is not attractive nor does it give the professional image that is essential in the workplace.

#4 Don't ignore other people in the office.

Being that person who doesn't have time for anyone else except who they're dating is definitely not a good look. If the relationship does end, it will be you who goes running back to your friends at the end of it.

#5 Avoid getting a ‘reputation’!

If the first office relationship didn’t work out, what makes you think the second, third, or fourth relationship will? Looking for a partner outside of work is the best way to avoid a bad reputation in the office.

While it may be exciting to begin a new journey with someone you work with, it can have significant consequences in the future. Talking to others (even your boss) about a possible relationship ensuing may help to put everything into perspective. Being self-aware about the situation can also help your heart from being broken. 

Overall, office dating can cause your employer a serious headache, especially if things don’t go to plan and the ‘couple’ in question decide to file complaints, or worse, take revenge on one another! It is therefore easy to see why many companies simply place a strict ban on such antics. Despite this, the survey found an impressive 31% of office relationships led to marriage (as it did with the Obamas) and with a promising statistic like that, perhaps office dating should be allowed?

Have you ever dated a co-worker? Did it end in happiness or utter disaster?

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