Office Relationships… Are they doomed to fail?
Office Relationships... Are they doomed to fail?
Scenario: It is 8PM on a Wednesday evening and everyone has left the office hours ago. You are sitting mapping out your companies next marketing campaign, you turn to your co-worker, they look back at you and for a split second, you feel your souls connect… “OH OH”, this could be dangerous territory, so you brush it off as a lapse in judgment and one too many espresso shots.
The next day you find yourself doodling their name all over your notepad. As you are about to imagine what you would look like as a couple they casually walk up to your desk, look at you with that familiar look, and out come the words “There is something I need to tell you”. Your heart stops, your thoughts are racing because you know what is about to unfold…
Work can already be a stressful environment at times without the added secrecy of dating a co-worker, some on the other hand may see it as an exciting secret that only the two of you know, but it can cause several issues if not dealt with in the right way. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you don’t dare think about it because as human beings many of us are going to do it anyway. What I can do, is help you figure out if this is a situation you want to find yourself in.
First and foremost, you know that super long contract you get when first hired that most of us don’t read all the way through? GO READ IT. Usually, that will have a clause stating whether or not dating a colleague is even on the table. This will be the biggest deciding factor. Do not challenge this is as it may cost you your job. It may come as a hard blow, but as much of a cliché, it is, rules are there for a reason.
Getting into an office relationship may mean work comes second to the actual reason you are in the office every day. You may start to produce a lesser quality of work and slip on your duties. You will no longer be an asset to your company and that is not who they want working for them. They may also want to avoid future awkwardness or lose a valued employee over a nasty break-up.
If it is not a legal issue you need to figure out whether or not you and your co-worker will be mature enough to set boundaries in the workplace. It is so tempting when you see them at work to go over and give them a big fat kiss, but it is not fair for all the other people in the office who have to endure the PDA. This can also be quite embarrassing when your boss walks in on the smooch fest. Keep it to a minimum like a stolen glance or quick wink, because you aren’t robots, but respect goes a long way.
This will also keep the office gossip to a minimum. Do not in any circumstance allow an argument to take place at work. This opens up room for criticism from co-workers over the loud noise of the copy machine. As soon as they see any sign of weakness in your relationship they may pounce like hungry hyaenas ready to laugh at your misfortune. Co-workers may also blow up a small disagreement into an absolute cage fight. Walk away, cool down, and discuss it in your personal time.
If you are going the extra mile to make things difficult for yourself and dating your employee, make sure favoritism doesn’t sneak its unfair head around the office door. This is grounds for many long unnecessary hours wasted with HR. Don’t be afraid to pick someone else’s idea because it is genuinely better, your partner should be mature enough to understand. This is the type of thing that should be discussed before getting into a relationship.
Another important issue that should be discussed beforehand is what happens if things don’t work out? This isn’t something you want to discuss going into a new relationship, but this isn’t a usual situation. You both need to be mature enough to be able to respect each other and not make things awkward for everyone else in the office. A lot of the time work relationships fizzle out because the exciting beginning stages fade fast, and all you are left with are awkward “Hellos”. So if you do want to go for it, make sure it is a real connection and for the right reasons not just because you love the thrill.
Ask yourself, How do I feel about seeing that person at work, after work, and all the times in between? Having your own things such as your job or hobbies allows you to have something to share with your partner at the end of the day, it becomes pretty dull pretty quick when all you talk about is work…
It is not a bizarre idea that you have fallen for your co-worker. When you spend so much time together you are bound to question your feelings for them. Just make sure you have thought everything through. Like I said no one is going to tell you what to do and a lot of us like to learn from our own mistakes, not the mistakes of others. We are quirky like that. The best I can do is help you decide if you are up for the challenge and who knows, you could be one of the lucky few that are a success!
I would love to hear from your experiences so please feel free to share in the comments down below.