If you have the hots for a fellow employee, a blog post is probably not going to stop you from dating. Your employment handbook might, so make sure there are not any rules against fraternization. Consider these what-if situations as well. This could help if you decide to start up a romance with another employee or if the employee handbook allows it.
What if you break up and they start flirting and going out with another employee? Or worse, flirt with someone else at work while you’re still dating? How is that going to make you feel? How is that going to affect your job performance, your boss, and your ability to get promoted? The potential effect on your work is one reason your employment handbook might have guidance on office relationships.
What happens if your career suddenly takes off but your partner is still on the ground? Will you be able to handle it as an employee and as a romantic partner? Or perhaps you’re a boss already and your lover isn’t or vice versa. Can you both handle that?
The Long Run
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but every time you turn around, they’re right there, a fellow employee at work….. Also, what happens if you have one of those blowout-like arguments on a Sunday night? How’s Monday morning going to look to you both?
After the Thrill is Gone
Suppose you and another employee have managed to keep your relationship under wraps for a couple of years and you’ve both finally felt safe to let the cat out of the bag. Now what? Sometimes what keeps office romances burning is the same thing that keeps a cheating couple going–intrigue, and the thrill of keeping a secret that you know darn well would blow everyone’s minds or have “dangerous” consequences. What often happens though is as soon as the “heat” is gone, they become just another couple, and that can destroy the magic, with or without permission from the employment handbook.
We’re glad that we’ve given you a lot to think about, but it was only because we wanted to stress this one important rule. Discretion and professionalism will be the only thing that saves your careers, your feelings and each other’s sanity if the whole thing goes up in smoke. Be a good employee first.