There is nothing wrong with romance at work, and it is happening more and more.
Most people have very strong views on this subject. Those who are opposed argue that romantic attachments disturb the equilibrium of the workplace, interfere with professionalism, and unnecessarily confuse work and pleasure.
Yes, work-based romances do get complicated. But is work so important that you can expect those working for you to sacrifice their emotional well-being for it? Could you seriously contend that work must come first?
It just makes sense: We are increasingly spending more time at out our jobs, and it’s easy to be attracted to someone who shares workplace stresses and victories. Three out of four people were either aware of an office romance or had been involved in one themselves.
Of course, love at work is not without risk, which is why many people avoid it. However, the right management, romance and career can often coexist successfully. Follow six tips below.
Some companies have rules against relationships, depending on how closely you work together. If relationships are forbidden but you decide it is worth breaking the rules, be discreet and prepare for any consequences. And even if there’s no formal policy, consider whether your organisation’s culture is accepting.
Before you get swept up in the moment, spend time thinking analytically about the potential effects on both careers. You may be in a situation where finding a life partner is more important than this particular job, or where you have enough flexibility to transfer elsewhere if things take an awkward turn. On the other hand, if you are on a stellar trajectory where you are, you may not want to risk it.
Spend time talking with your potential partner. If it is possible, create a written plan about you’ll handle the relationship and a possible breakup, so that the effects on your co-workers and organisation are minimised.
See: 5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Great Employee Heading Out the Door
Positively, no public displays of affection at work–no touching, no pet names, no lingering looks. Anyone who doesn’t know you are together should never be able to guess it from your behaviour. Maintaining proper distance shows respect for the professionalism of your workplace and minimises gossip.
Do not draw attention to yourselves with long lunches or after-hours meetings. Keep your office door open when you are together, and share travel only if there is an iron-clad business-related need.
Do not let your personal life affect the quality of your work, and do not neglect other important workplace relationships that you need to maintain. Keep it professional and keep it private.
Thus, if you happen to find love at work, stay in balance, stay in focus, and stay appropriate. Active management may not sound romantic, yet it is essential if you want to keep your career, and not just your love life, on track.
See also: Understanding Why Millennials Want Work-Life Balance