People today spend a lot of time at work, so it’ s no surprise the office is one of the top places to meet possible romantic partners. In fact , according to the latest annual office romance survey from CareerBuilder, nearly 40 percent associated with workers say they have dated a coworker at least once in their career, then one in five say they’ ve dated their boss.
With so many people dating coworkers plus a surprisingly substantial number of them adult dating the boss, it’ s a wonder there isn’ t a shortage of employment law lawyers to handle all the repercussions.
Those repercussions come in many forms, from office gossip because much more both of the parties are wedded to the coworker who turns out to be a stalker and now has 40-hour-a-week access to his or her object of affection.
If you’ re drawn to someone in the office, it’ s certainly not a bad thing. After all, President Barack Obama met First Lady Michelle in the workplace. You just want to be sure you exercise additional caution.
These tips can help:
Make sure you know that person really well before beginning a romantic relationship. You want to be sure that person is mature and emotionally healthy and that any possible breakup won’ t interfere with your job or how much you enjoy it.
Check company policies to ensure you aren’ t violating any rules. Some companies have non-fraternization policies. While they can be difficult to enforce, they can jeopardize your job. Plus, actually companies who don’ t have a written policy to that effect might view no-dating rules as implied.
Conduct your partnership on your own time. That means don’ to use company email to send information to each other, even to confirm a date; don’ t text each other using business phones, unless, of course , it’ s work related; and do not hook up in the break room. Some employers have insurance policies regarding personal use of company tools. Even if they don’ t, in case a harassment claim arises from the relationship, you may have left plenty of evidence.
Avoid romantic relationships with the manager. Romantic relationships between workers and their supervisors are the most risky of all. When they end – and also if they don’ t – the parties will be subjecting themselves to some variety of discrimination and harassment problems.
Even in consensual relationships (and breakups), how is the manager to handle raises or performance evaluations objectively and without consideration for the passionate ramifications? Even if the boss is objective, there’ s ample room for that subordinate to claim the manager had some sort of prejudice. And if not the subordinate in the relationship, the claims certainly can come from office peers.
If you’ re attracted to the boss as well as the boss is attracted to you, or vice versa, and you’ re confident you want to explore the romantic relationship, take steps for one of the parties to obtain a new assignment. Getting involved with the manager is never a good idea.
If this article comes too late to suit your needs and you’ re already caught in a situation where you’ re being harassed, you do have options. In case your ex-paramour is behaving offensively at the office – leaving obscene gifts or messages or otherwise disrupting your work – talk to someone in your human resources division. If you’ re afraid for your safety, seek a harassment injunction, which works like a restraining order. Just do it with the understanding that the rest of your coworkers then will know what happened.
Like so many other business choices, you need to weigh whether an office romance is worth the risk. The heart wants what wants, but that’ s no excuse for the brain to phase aside.