H. Hutson & L. Houck
It’s hard to find your match. In 2020 where do you meet people if not on an app? Before getting into a workplace romance, take some time to reflect. According to the most recent annual survey by Vault.com, only 37% of employees intentionally avoid office romance. The same study found that more than 72% of participants, over the age of 50, have dated someone at work. You spend a lot of time with these people, and you have something in common. Whichever path you choose, it could have important consequences for your personal life and career. Have you considered what will you do when you’re attracted to a colleague?
Read this before you make up your mind.
Pursuing a Workplace Crush
- Check the rules. Your employee handbook may already have guidelines regarding office romances. Some companies ban any relationships while others may require both participants to disclose their status.
- Focus on work. Be professional at work. Keep up with your responsibilities. Separate the relationship from your work identity. Some studies suggest dating a coworker can make you more productive and happier in the workplace.
- Respect your colleagues. Be considerate of the workplace and those around you. Avoid public displays of affection or favoritism.
- Monitor gossip. Try to keep the gossip to a minimum, especially in the beginning. Flaunting your workplace romance encourages people to talk. Instead, discourage gossip by keeping your private life, private.
- Maintain boundaries. Avoid making your work lives easier. It’s common to do some of your partner’s work while in a relationship. Try not to do this on the job. By continuing to do your own job, no one feels taken advantage of.
- Exit gracefully. Although unpleasant, consider what will happen if and when your relationship ends. What steps can you take to continue to work together effectively?
Avoiding a Workplace Crush
- Minimize contact. It is harder to get over someone if you are with them all of the time. Work at spending less time together. If possible, avoid situations that require you to be alone together.
- Distract yourself. Pick up a new hobby, plan a vacation, or volunteer with a local nonprofit (like Big Pine Comedy Festival!). Spend more time with family or friends. Your crush will fade more quickly if you starve it for attention.
- Equalize power. Be cautious and aware of seniority. Do your best to avoid becoming entangled with a supervisor or anyone who outranks you, or vice versa. Be wary of situations that could potentially harm your career or result in a lawsuit.
- Accept your feelings. There’s a difference between having a crush on someone and acting on it. Make an effort to handle your feelings wisely.
- Seek balance. Use this as a teaching moment. Could this be a sign that you are missing something in your life? Consider devoting more time and energy to activities outside the office and focus on finding more of a work/home balance.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to workplace romances. You may become more engaged and productive or you could wind up looking for a new job. Whatever you decide, be sure to weigh the consequences rather than letting your emotions sweep you away.