Romance in the Workplace

What do you think about office romances? 

My short answer is that is it best to keep work relationships professional and to stay away from romance if you possibly can. However, having said that, sometimes things just happen when you work closely with someone in a demanding environment. Many successful personal relationships and even marriages have started as working relationships. Let’s face it, when you spend the majority of your time with the same people and you get to know them well, you inevitably like some more than others. We are, after all, human.

So while I suggest that you try not to complicate your professional life by mixing in a personal relationship, let me give you the dos and don’ts if you just can’t avoid it or if you’re already in an office romance. When you first sense that a relationship is clearly budding into something serious with someone in your immediate workgroup, I suggest that one of you begin immediately to try to transfer out of the group. The first step to take is to separate your working relationship from your personal relationship, especially if one of you is senior to the other.

If you are peers, it is not quite as complicated but it’s still not a good idea to work together. Resentment as well as issues of favoritism and unfair practices can, and usually will, arise when there are personal relationships within the workplace. These issues can have an adverse impact on reputations and can even derail career paths.

People love to talk, and a budding romance in the office is fabulous fodder for the gossip mill. Don’t let yourself be the target of rumors and innuendo that ultimately can negate your hard work and deter your long-term success. If you don’t wish to change your personal relationship, then it’s generally best for one of you to change jobs.

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