and pleasure can go hand in hand and not be a real threat
if carried on cautiously and wisely. Many long-term
relationships start at the workplace since you spend
most of your time at your work place. Hence it is quite
natural that you will get to know your colleague more
closely and intimately.
Office romances can work, but you and your colleague
must be subtle about it. Here are some guidelines on
how you can give the relationship a real shot, while
keeping a lid on possible problems.
Understand the consequences
Work rivalry can get in the way. For example, if a superior
is dating a subordinate, there may be unkind gossip
about favouritism, discrimination and prejudice. The
office grapevine can be malicious so be prepared to
deal with it.
Your hands may brush against each other when papers
are passed. You may lean a little too closely when discussing
some project. Do these suggest deeper interest? With
an office romance, you have to be very sure that your
interest is mutual. As embarrassing as it may be potentially,
you just have to talk it out with each other.
While you may be in seventh heaven and want to share
your joy with your buddies at work, don't. Keep details
of your love life private. If someone probes, just change
Maintain formality and distance
This can help you maintain your professionalism. Also,
you won't cross the line between your work and private
life, so you can maintain your colleague status more
easily. Believe it or not, it can actually help keep
that romantic feeling going between the two of you.
Be conscious not to increase the amount of contact with
your partner at work -- don't lunch together more often
than you did, or leave together after work.
Don't let your work suffer under the weight of long
lunches, tea breaks and conversations in the office
pantry. You don't want to incur more hostility from
your colleagues about your relationship with your partner.
On the other hand, you may look forward to going to
work now, and find new enthusiasm for your work.
Trust your partner
Because you may want to keep your relationship under
wraps for a while, you must be prepared for other colleagues
who may unknowingly flirt with your new partner. Don't
lose your cool and trust your partner completely.
Check your company's policies on dating a co-worker.
If your boss is unhappy, you may want to ask for a transfer
or change in workstations to minimise contact with each
other on an official basis.
This is always hard to do because you still have to
face each other every day, work together on projects
or worse, go on business trips together. While you may
not lose your job over your break-up, you may find it
hard to keep going. But if you have played it cool at
work and no one caught on about your relationship, you
should do well.