It can be hard to find romance in today's busy world, and sometimes your office has the most available dating pool. Plus, it's almost Valentine's Day; everyone's looking for love.
But while the workplace is a convenient spot to look for a date, it may not be your best option. Many employers discourage interoffice relationships, and some go so far as to ban co-worker romances as well.
But the heart wants what it wants, and that may be the cutie who sits a few cubicles away from you. So protect your heart, and yourself, by following these interoffice romance tips:
- Review your office policy. Most workplaces have some policy about interoffice romance, and all have something to say about sexual harassment. Take some time to read (and re-read) what's allowed and what's not when you're in the office.
- Just say "no" to PDA. Work time is not the time to be making googly eyes at your new boyfriend or girlfriend. Not only does it cut into your productivity, but it can also make your co-workers uncomfortable and potentially lead to a lawsuit for a hostile work environment. Save the romance for date night.
- Be open about it. Even if your workplace policy doesn't require it, it may be a good idea to tell your Human Resources office about an office relationship. That could provide you with some proof if your current honey later claims the relationship wasn't consensual.
- Take complaints to heart. You may think you're keeping your PDA on the down-low, but it may not be enough for your co-workers. No one wants to feel uncomfortable around a couple at work, so if someone takes the time to tell you they don't like it, make sure you listen and try be respectful.
- Beware of flirting. How are you going to woo the office sweetheart if not with candy and gifts? Well, you might want to put that idea on hold until you're sure he or she feels the same way. It might seem harmless to you, but the other person could feel like they're being harassed. You don't want to be the person named in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
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