If statistics are to be believed, one in every three people has been romantically involved with a colleague. The odds aren’t surprising when you think about the amount of time one spends at the workplace. Going a step further, in a recent survey, 28 per cent of Brits admitted to having had sex in office! Whether you are already involved with someone at the workplace, or are planning to ask them out, here are a few pointers you should keep in mind (to ensure your job is not on the line):
1. Do The Test
Evyenia Trembois, a relationship counsellor, says, “When it comes to an office romance, first you have to be honest with yourself. Are you the type of person who can emotionally separate the personal from the professional?” Look at coworkers and leaders whom you also consider friends. Have you ever felt hurt about being snapped at, or scolded by one of them? If that’s an affirmative, run far, far away from any thought of an office romance, she warns.
2. Stay Away From The Touch-Me-Nots
One must make a mental note of colleagues that are off limits (your HR policy will give you some clarity on this). This might include your immediate boss, and staffers that report to you. At most places, it’s acceptable to date a person who doesn’t have any direct interaction with you at a professional level. But matters of the heart, as we know, are seldom ideal, says Trembois. If the colleague is married, it’s a straight no. An affair with a married colleague puts the risk of you losing your job, your relationship and your dignity, all at once.
3. Flirt Smart
There is a lot that can be misread in an office set up where people may share private conversations, juicy gossip and work stress. For example, getting a drink with a work mate post office hours is normal. It is important hence, not to read too much into it if a colleague asks you out to a drink. The situation, at time, may be tricky since reading into signs that aren’t there could cause some embarrassment and awkward moments in the future. It’s better to give it time and be sure. If you think he smiles at you, therefore he may be interested, wait and see if he is just generally friendly and smiles at everyone in the office. If you have decided to make a move and flirt, do it discreetly. Remember, people are always watching. You don’t want to be the hot topic of gossip, do you?
4. Don’t Be Antisocial
If you are in fact, seeing someone at work, don’t go announcing it to the floor. Limit the news to close friends and colleagues. More importantly, don’t be oblivious to everybody else at work. It’s sweet that you want to get to work, have your lunch, and spend all your coffee breaks with your sweety. But don’t dismiss the importance of maintaining work relationships. Research has shown that areas where human interaction is maximum, like at the coffee machine or the water cooler, is where creativity reaches its highest potential. Work wise, you may be compromising on your potential by not interacting with the rest of your coworkers.