Can a workplace romance remain agreeable? How do you move on when they end it? How do you keep it together when they date someone new?
Studies show that dating a coworker is quite common. Sometimes the timing is right and boom, love and marriage. While other relationships start out hot and end up with both parties meeting with HR.
To successfully engage in a workplace romance you must be mature, professional, and possess communication skills. Before you dive in, take time to talk. If you don’t, you’re asking for trouble. If you’ve already hooked up, it’s not too late to have that talk.
For instance, what if you’re only looking for an occasional romantic encounter and they are looking for a long-term relationship? It will not end well when you stop asking them out or they realize the only place you take them is your apartment for a romp in bed and a pizza.
[bctt tweet=”The number 1 rule for #workplace romance is: Don’t date your boss or anyone who is your superior. #humanresources” username=”rosalindatweets”]
Here are 9 ways to keep a workplace romance agreeable:
- Read and understand the company’s policy about dating. Some companies insist on disclosure. In today’s climate regarding sexual harassment, it is to everyone’s benefit to notify a third party (Human Resources) that it is consensual. Here is a sample of a “Love Contract” SHRM. Are you ready to sign?
- Communicate. What are your expectations? Are you exclusive? Are you both in agreement to keep it private (except for HR’s involvement)? Do you agree to be honest when the thrill is gone.
- Make sure they aren’t engaged, married or in the midst of a horrific divorce.
- Agree to maintain confidentiality when it comes to work-related matters, department policies, clients, and coworkers.
- Agree that any personal problems will remain private. Maintaining a professional demeanor when you’re angry at someone is a challenge for most people. If your lover chooses to push your button, do not join in.
- Agree to avoid sexting, lovey-dovey talk or clandestine meetings during work hours. Limit contact to what would be considered necessary and ordinary in the course of a workday. This includes public displays of affection.
- Avoid posting sexually provocative photos on social media. With or without them, you are in control of your image. This includes bragging to coworkers about that morning’s invigorating tryst.
- Agree to maintain separate relationships with coworkers. Be careful not to alienate coworkers by spending every available moment with each other. Avoid giving the stink-eye to anyone they might talk to.
- Agree to support them if a career opportunity arises.
Be aware that if your love-relationship begins to infringe on company time, getting your job done, failing to fulfill commitments, alienating or making your coworkers uncomfortable, you will find yourself meeting with HR.
Boy, this #HR disclosure policy sure does diminish the excitement, sexiness and passion of having a secretive affair.
Why are there laws and policies addressing workplace romance? Because a relationship gone bad affects everyone.
- Coworkers are sometimes forced to choose sides.
- Coworkers and the boss are forced to learn things they shouldn’t about their coworker/staff.
- General concern of jealous outbursts, retaliation, lawsuits, harassment claims, mental abuse, stress, sabotage, distractions, lack of productivity and time spent on corrective measures.
Are you prepared to engage in a workplace romance?
Final thoughts: A workplace romance can help you look forward to Mondays. Conversely, it can make going to work dreadful.
No matter what your relationship is based on, treat them with respect, courtesy, and tact. Especially if the relationship has run its course, on your end. Be honest, be discreet, be kind. End it with your reputation unscathed.
Note: I often use sarcasm and/or humor to make a point, scoff or highlight the topic.
Combating Rudeness and Helping Businesses and Individuals Build a More Respectful Workplace Through Social Skills, Effective Communication, and Modern Business Manners
Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills, Communication Skills, Business Etiquette Expert, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.” Trained in Sexual Harassment & Business Ethics.
Presentations are available to support HR policies and harassment compliance, address concerns, or to avert potential inclinations – Up and coming managers – Millennials – Interns – New-hire orientation process – Layoffs to help prepare them for interviews – Professional development events or conferences – College/university students – Athletes on pubic behavior – Actors to prepare for roles – Attorneys; polish client’s professional presence for court appearance
For more information, please contact me via email, or by calling 650.871.6200 before a dilemma turns into front page news.
Disclaimer: My advice is general and may not suit your particular situation. Additionally, to keep it brief, my answers are basic. Lastly, there is always more than one way to handle a dilemma. Copyright 2018, Rosalinda Randall. All Rights Reserved