Dating in the Workplace - Be Careful When Considering Such a Relationship

Given how much time the majority of us spend at work these days, it is hardly surprising that many relationships blossom there. While some people disapprove of dating in the workplace, preferring to keep their work and personal lives separate, dating a co-worker can also add a little excitement to your working week. Before you decide to start dating someone you work with however you should consider a few factors.

Some companies discourage the practice of dating within the workplace and it is important to check out your company's regulations regarding this before you leap into a passionate relationship with the top sales executive. The more strict company policies regarding dating may require you to notify human resources or even to transfer to a new position before embarking on the relationship.

If the object of your attraction is your secretary or another subordinate, you need to proceed very carefully. Dating someone who reports to you directly or is dependent on you for possible promotion can be particularly complicated and may cause frictions within the workplace. Other jealous staff members might be tempted to accuse you of offering your date a promotion in return for certain sexual favours; accusations that could prove seriously damaging to your career.

It is much easier dating someone from a different department or floor to your own as this will tend to have less impact on the atmosphere within the workplace. Not only are you free from the possibility of any accusations or tensions developing as a result of you and your co-worker dating, you will also be able to maintain a little more distance at work and keep a sensible separation between your office and your love life. It also means that, should you break up, you will not have to see that person every single day which can be difficult when feelings have been hurt.

If your dating experience goes well and starts to develop into a more intimate relationship it might be tempting to express your love in public. This is not recommended and could harm your professional image, as well as encouraging gossip within the office. Similarly, fights or arguments should be left at home and not brought into work. Any kind of in-fighting spoils the atmosphere and has a negative effect on productivity.

Even if your company has no official policy about dating in the workplace, it is still important to exercise some common sense. If your personal relationship starts to impact on your work or the productivity of your department as a whole, this presents the company with every reason to introduce stringent rules in the future.

It is also recommended that you inform your manager about your relationship with a co-worker. This can both protect you and can also protect the company from any future allegations about sexual misconduct within the workplace. As with dating in any context, be sensitive to how your intimacy is making other people feel and be professional about your relationship and the possible effects it can have within the workplace.

Jan Boulton enjoys writing articles on a wide range of topics.

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