Put any group of strangers together, give them something to bond over like work, and there’s bound to be a few romances. In fact, a 2011 survey found that 39 percent of workers say they’ve dated a colleague and 30 percent of those people went on to marry that colleague.
But hooking up with a co-worker has its ups and downs. Consider this if you fall for someone where you work.
During your working years, you’ll spend a lot of time on the job. (The average person works 90,000 hours over their lifetime.) As long as it doesn’t interfere with your work, having a relationship with a colleague can be a great use of that time.
For every Pam and Jim, there’s a couple who don’t make it and that’s where things can get ugly. Hurt feelings. Public fights. Distracted behavior. Sabotaged projects. Getting HR involved. All of this stuff could happen and it’s not pretty, so be wise when contemplating your office romance and really consider their character.
Research found that 15 percent of director-level women have slept with a boss and 37 percent of them got promoted for it. These affairs didn’t go unnoticed. In a bad way. The truth is there are still more male bosses than female ones and double standards abound, so be smart and consider the consequences.
A Few Rules To Live By
- Know your company’s dating policy. Getting fired for a fling is no fun.
- Do what they do on Mad Men. Get a room if you must get it on over a lunch hour. (Supply closets and copy rooms are not as private as you think.)
- Don’t let it harm your productivity. If you’re still getting everything done well, then hopefully no one will complain about your relationship.
- Keep it classy. If it ends, always be courteous and professional towards him or her.
- Don’t come on too strong or make unwanted advances. Sexual harassment is a serious thing and you don’t want to be on either side of it.
All right, tell us your best and worst office romance stories. We want to know what worked, what didn’t, and what you learned. You could end up helping someone going through the same thing.