Should You Date a Coworker?
The workplace is a community where relationships are inevitable, but the question “Should you date a coworker” is one of those questions for which both “yes” and “no” would be appropriate answers. If your company’s policy strictly forbids dating or interoffice relationships, then, obviously, “no.” However, if there is no policy prohibiting interoffice romance, then feel free to date. Still, it is smart to stay away from dating your boss or someone who reports directly to you. After all, dating shouldn’t cause you to take leave of your senses. Make sure pursuing that love-interest won’t cost your job. Chances are you can name a few people you know who met at work and built a successful relationship that didn’t derail their career. If work was such an easy place to find that special someone, however, Match.com or eHarmony.com wouldn’t be doing so well. If you’re determined to try the office route, we suggest the following guidelines:
- Take it slow and keep things on the down-low early on. Get to know each other as friends first. The last thing an employer wants is a sexual harassment complaint.
- Be sensitive to each other as well as to your colleagues. Agree on some ground rules, especially if things don’t go as expected, or if the relationship doesn’t succeed.
- Be professional; no playing around at work. This means separating your job from your romantic life.
- Let your boss know. He/she would rather hear it from you than from Suzie who works down the line.
- No drama at the office or in public where coworkers congregate. Disagreements cannot affect your work.
- Keep texts, emails, and chats at a minimum. Do not use company emails for personal communications. Diligently avoid PDA. Again, professionalism will ensure you don’t make others uncomfortable or cause performance or reputation issues.