Navigating an Office Romance

Falling in love with more than just your job? If Cupid has you in his sights at the office, Rachel Nauen has the answers about the best way to navigate an office romance.

It’s safe to say that office romance has been around forever. After all, co-workers spend lots of time together, often have similar interests, and probably spend a lot of time rolling their eyes at each other during meetings. So it’s no surprise over a third (36 percent) of workers report dating a co-worker, and 31 percent of workers who dated at work ended up getting married, according to CareerBuilder’s Annual Valentine’s Day survey.

Thinking about asking out the cutie in the cube over?

If your pupils turn to hearts every time you see one of your co-workers, you might want to proceed with caution. Clearly office romances are not unusual, but you want to approach them with a head that’s level, not in the clouds.

Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder, says to avoid negative consequences at work, it’s important to set ground rules in your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private.

Check the rules. In some cases, employers have a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another. Be sure that you know your company's policy before getting into any kind of relationship. If you don't know the policy, check with HR.

Keep your personal life out of the office. Remember to keep your personal life out of your work one: You might have had an argument with the new object of your affection, but that doesn’t mean anyone else cares, and there is certainly no reason to let it affect your job. And speaking of the separation of love and work, beware of social media. While 41 percent of workers today choose to keep their relationship a secret at work, posting on social media may make it much more difficult to keep from your coworkers.

Don't let your romance impact your relationship with your co-workers. If you don't properly separate your romantic and work life, your romance may color people's judgment with regard to promotions, projects, team building and responsibilities. Don’t blur your professional and love lives and everything will be much simpler.

(Source: Rachel Nauen, CareerBuilder)

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