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Blogs Home >> >> 'Romance in the Next Cubicle'
Romance in the Next Cubicle

Although an office relationship can create some sticky personal and professional situations, employers canít stop them and employees canít seem to avoid them. When you put women and men with similar interests and careers in the same environment for at least 40 hours a week, itís impossible to contain the romance fires. Some studies put the number of working adults who have dabbled in romance relationships with a co-worker at approximately 30 percent.

Banning romantic interpersonal relationships at work is next to impossible, so employers have to rely on employees handling office romance in an appropriate manner. More often than not, thatís easier said than done. But as anti-nepotism rules at work have gone the way of the dinosaur, companies are embracing policies that are more family friendly -- a "psychology today" approach. Southwest Airlines is one example, boasting more than 1,000 married couples within its ranks, according to

So, if you have your eye on a man at work, here are some romance tips and common sense interpersonal relationship suggestions to follow when mixing business with pleasure:

Shakespeare wrote in King Henry IV that, ďdiscretion is the better part of valor.Ē Itís wise to follow any phrase that promotes caution as the smartest policy, especially when it comes to relationships. If youíre attracted to a male coworker, go slowly and be discreet about it. Donít advertise your intentions and motivations to everyone in the office. Donít constantly hang around at his desk or in his office. Instead, try going out to lunch together, a drink after work or communication through email, which has become the vehicle that drives office romances. Since most companies have the right to monitor an office romance, with access and legal rights to read employee email, use all internal communications wisely and keep your at work comments above the belt.

So, youíve met a man at work, have hit it off, and now you're pursuing a relationship. What now? After some time, it may be OK if co-workers know that youíre dating, but you should still maintain some discretion. Both you and your new male friend should be acutely aware of the potential pitfalls if the romance doesn't work out. If you have any suspicions that a breakup will result in an uncomfortable and unprofessional situation, look elsewhere for romance.

If itís your boss or a superior you fancy, then thatís all the more reason to be cautious when pursuing an office romance. When work status is unequal between a couple, the manager can be in the unenviable position of demanding certain things or being privy to information that he or she can not share. If your boss is also your lover, the conflict of interest can certainly foster resentment and accusations of favoritism among other employees, resulting in a sticky situation -- making an office romance an office nightmare.

There are certainly positives to working with a man youíre dating, among them the companionship and development of a healthy relationship could bring you closer together. However, the constant contact at work can also go the opposite direction, fostering friction and resentment within your relationship. Some women Ė and men Ė just arenít cut out to be with their significant other all day, every day. Jealousy can also rear its ugly head. Itís necessary to have contact with other employees throughout the workday, and simple communication may end up being misconstrued as flirting, or worse.

Like any good interpersonal relationship, communication is the key. And it requires an extra effort if youíre going to be dating someone at work. Outline all the ground rules, remain professional, discuss potential pitfalls and before diving into an office romance, make sure both parties can balance the tricky aspects of their careers and the romance at work to produce a healthy relationship.

By: Teena Rose

Posted on Monday, Dec 05, 2011 09:59:55 EST by trose

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