Dating in the office

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According to a recent survey, more than 60 percent of relationships begin in the office.

While this is not as frowned on as it was in the past, this is still a very fine line and not for the faint of heart. Because no matter who you are or what your job is, you will be the topic of office gossip. Your co-workers will speculate and evaluate the relationship and you and it will affect your work environment.

Even if you think you’ve kept it quiet, it’s not quiet. Don’t ever forget that.

If you’re one of the lucky ones and you and your relationship rise above the petty office gossip, you don’t let it affect your job and you end up happily ever after, that’s not the end.

Your co-workers will still evaluate and speculate every argument (real or imagined). The gossip doesn’t stop. If you don’t end happily ever after and break up, know you’ll have to see the person every day, your co-workers will take sides and everyone will feel awkward.

Some general tips if you choose to test these waters:

  • Never your boss. Period.
  • Never your boss’s boss. Ever.
  • Try to avoid dating someone in the same department.
  • Don’t pen love letters, arrange dates or break-up via the office e-mail.
  • Tell your supervisor. (When is up to you. But if you are planning a vacation together, tell your supervisor before you both put in for the same time off.)
  • Don’t date more than one person in the office. (This goes for at the same time and in general. More than one increases your chances of being labeled and exponentially increases the gossip and potential for problems.)
  • Don’t snoop through the other’s desk.
  • Don’t involve other co-workers.
  • Keep the relationship talk out of the office

Bottom line: be extra discrete, use common sense and be flexible.