For many, the only time to meet people is at work. Many of us work long hours, and have little time or interest in drunken bar encounters or the challenges of dating websites.
Having an office relationship can be exciting, with the stolen glances and secretive liaisons in the stationary cupboard. The secrecy and fear of being caught can add to the sexual tension, but the downside is they office romances can also cause resentment, gossip, and bring up questions of favoritism.
So how do we conduct an office relationship while staying on the right side of our employer and colleagues?
Be Aware of Company Policy.
Check in with human resources and read the company's policies on having relationships with co-workers (or a relationship with your boss). Be aware of what you are heading into and if it's worth gambling your career for if there is a strict rule against dating your colleagues.
Discretion is the Word.
Try and keep the intimacy away from the workplace and stay professional. Your intimacy may make others feel uncomfortable. Save the gifts of flowers, sing-o-grams and gigantic teddy bears, along with the passionate embraces and lingering kisses for outside the workplace!
Take it Slow.
Be aware of what you are getting into and don't rush it. The impact of a failed relationship may be far greater than the enjoyment you had while it lasted.
Avoid jumping into bed with colleagues on a regularly basis. Apart from getting a reputation you may not want, you may end up with lots of resentment directed towards you.
Be Careful How You Communicate.
Using the company intranet to send explicit emails to each other is a sure fire way to expose yourself to trouble with the company, as is spending long periods chatting on the phone. Keep the personal messages short and discreet.
If asked, be honest but play it down. It's no big deal - you have a personal relationship outside work but continue a professional one during working hours. Steer clear of conducting your relationship outside work in places frequented by co-workers.
Maintain Good Working Relationships with Colleagues.
During the relationship make sure it doesn't negatively affect your working relationship with your co-workers. Don't neglect other relationships with colleagues. Snubbing them may be something they have not forgotten when you come back to them.
If the relationship ends, keep your emotions low key while in the office. Discuss it outside work with friends and relatives but while at work, again stay professional, avoiding adding to the rumour mill and attributing blame. Your colleagues will respect your ability to stay professional and keep your relationship and work life separate.
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.