It’s not uncommon to date a co-worker. If you have a full-time job, you’re spending most of your day there anyways. Even if you don’t have a full-time job, having a consistent place of work allows you to get to know people. Workplace relationships are on the rise as more and more employers are allowing them to happen.
According to a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, 37% of people have dated a co-worker, and 30% of those relationships have ended in marriage. However, just because your employer is fine with it doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful. The CGS Team is sharing some common rules to live by when it comes to on-the-job romances! It’s not easy to know how to date a co-worker, but with these tips you will be just fine!
Talk to HR
Before coming clean to HR with your relationship, reach out to them to get the low-down on your company’s interoffice dating policy. Unless you are dating someone higher up (think your manager or your manager’s manager), you should be fine. Some employers may request you and your partner to sign a waiver or release, others may just want verbal record. Regardless of what your employer requests, make sure you stick to the policy.
Could you imagine walking in on two of your co-workers making out (or worse)? It would be a terrible site and could slightly taint your view of them. If you are dating a co-worker, don’t put yourself in that position! Avoid PDA on or near the office, keep the flirting to a minimum, and don’t use work communication methods (email, IM) for personal conversations. Always try to remain professional with your partner. Remember, you are at work and we shouldn’t have to remind you that it is (most likely) your main source of income!
This tip rule shouldn’t be an issue if you’ve already came clean to HR. However, if you’ve only told HR and don’t want anyone else to know, be discreet. If someone asks, don’t lie about your relationship. You don’t want to give anyone a reason to think you aren’t trustworthy, especially the higher-ups. Chances are people already know, so lying won’t make much of a difference.
Keep Nosy Co-Workers Away
This is going to be a tough one! As we mentioned earlier, a majority of people’s day is spent at the office. This makes it easy for co-workers to get bored, get nosy, and start gossiping. Avoid sharing intimate details about your relationship to co-workers. In fact, avoid sharing as many details as possible.
Letting people into your relationship can have negative effects down the line. People could start rumors, people could share personal details, people could use the information you share against you, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, not everyone at the workplace is your friend or has your best interest at heart. Keep this in mind when you are contemplating sharing juicy details about you and your partner. Read the Dos and Don’ts of Socializing with Colleagues for more insight on this topic.
Keep It Professional
Not that any of the members of City Girl Savings wouldn’t be professional, but sometimes emotions get the best of us. Did you two just have a fight? Are you contemplating a bathroom-break kiss? Regardless of the ups and downs, always remain professional when on the clock. If you are not talking to him for personal reasons, but have to talk to him for business, get to talking. Not only do you need to keep it professional to remain respected at the workplace, but you also need to keep it professional to avoid onlookers from having something to gossip about.
Prepare for the Worst
Sadly, relationships end. However, when your personal relationship with a co-worker ends, it doesn’t mean that your working relationship with that person will end. Discussing what happens if you break up is a necessity for a workplace romance. Can you both remain friendly and professional? What happens if the relationship ends on very bad terms, will you be able to face that person? It’s been studied that more women than men quit their job after a workplace romance ends. Something to ask yourself is “what if I do have to quit?”
We know that you are all smart ladies, so if you decide to get into a relationship with a co-worker, remember the rules above! Have you had an experience with workplace romances? Did you have a hard time coming out or keeping the relationship secret? What advice can you share? We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic, so leave a comment below!