Office Romance and Its RamificationsMarch 14, 2020
The office is one of the places where people meet and interact with other people of different background, orientation, upbringing and beliefs. Quite often, office workers develop good relationships with their colleagues, and some of these relationships extend beyond the office setting. Many people go out with officemates for a night out or a weekend getaway. This is office romance at work! As some people would say, business and pleasure should never be mixed, but two people in the same workplace can develop strong feelings of attraction for each other especially if they see each other every day and spend most of their time together in the office.
If you are working in an office environment, before you find yourself entangled in an office relationship, it is important to think things through and consider what other officemates might say, and more importantly, what the company might say or do if the relationship comes to their notice. Some companies, years ago, had a policy against office romance relationships but now society has become more open to this, and it is no longer considered a taboo by many employers, although certain minor restrictions still exist. Even if management is more tolerant when it comes to their employees dating their colleagues, you cannot avoid irritating and meddlesome co-workers who spread foul comments through the rumour mill.
So, before you give in to your urges, get to know the person better and don’t just jump in. Friendship, as they say, is always the best foundation for any romantic relationship. Get to discover a lot about the other person beyond the office by going out together after office hours. This would be a good avenue for intimate conversations.
If you develop a relationship in the workplace, you must be discreet about it and behave accordingly. Proper decorum is expected of everyone in the office so avoid public display of affection as such will make you and your partner the topic of every conversation in the organisation.
Having your special someone in the same office can help dispel the stress that may come with your work but it is important that you conduct your office dealings in a very professional manner and not in a manner that is unbecoming of an office employee or professional. Prove to everyone around you that you value your work and that you will always perform your duties well.
The Good and the Bad of Office Romance
Most professionals spend more time in their offices than at home. So much so that there is always many single men and women who do not have the time to go out and meet new people. The logical choice for them is to meet other single men and women in their offices.
When single people spend at least 40 hours, and in some professions 50 hours or more, with like-minded people, romantic relationships are a tempting side effect. Although it is a logical choice to look within the office for romance, there are certainly good and bad aspects to the office dating practices.
The good in office dating
There are several advantages in office dating, one of which is obvious – the time you have to check out available singles is during your work hours so no longer do the constraints of office hours apply. Also, the awkwardness of first introductions is usually eliminated as initial conversations are done within the pretence of a work environment, once again, relieving the stress of having to make such a critical first impression since the impression would be based on some sort of work objective as opposed to strictly a personal objective as you would have in the normal dating process.
A second advantage is knowing the person before you date them, at least to some extent. The truth is that you may interact with a potential date several times on a business level and get to know something about their personality without being on the spot as you would be in a traditional social setting. This helps avoid the common pitfall of most early relationships –incompatibility.
Another advantage is the ability to quickly build a relationship as the time you see each other is significantly more than people who would meet outside the workplace.
The bad in office dating
As with any dating scenario, there is a bad side to office romance. For instance, just as being in constant contact with each other due to sharing an office can be an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. The amount of time spent together can cause a relationship to fall apart just as quickly as it started. This is because we all need some time for ourselves and seeing each other every workday for eight or more hours and then spending time together on the weekends does not help the situation.
Another disadvantage of office romance is when a person must exercise their professional responsibilities which might include having to discipline or even fire the person they are dating. Although this might seem like a remote idea when you are in a relationship, you would be very comfortable to tell your date that he or she is fired. Another example of this might be a need for one of the lovers to go out of their way to show the rest of the office that they are not playing favourites, maybe to the point of not promoting the person even though they might be the most deserving.
There is also the issue of jealousy, especially if the relationship is “under cover”. If you see your coworker flirting with your date, your reaction would be negative. It might also lead to punishing someone for something that is not work-related.
So, before you entertain the thought of dating a co-worker, consider the consequences of dating that person. Balance the pros and cons and if you decide to move on, keep an eye on all the things that could possibly go wrong and have an understanding of how you should handle any situation that may arise.