It’s astonishing how much time we spend at work. Think about it. Most of us work over 40 hours a week. You add commuting time and the days we work from home and that’s a big chunk of our week. It’s no wonder co-workers begin to look enticing. We spend hours upon hours engaging and collaborating. That dynamic can soon turn to flirting.
I know it first hand. I dated two co-workers in the past. The first I met through my nonprofit job. He was part of the Junior Board. He often went to fundraising events that I had to work. My role as Education Coordinator was to schmooze for funds. When I saw him, I thought he was cute and so I schmoozed extra hard. We began dating secretly. When we were in an actual relationship, we were much more open with staff and board members. Still, it was challenging. Dating a coworker can cause drama and sometimes even one’s job.
The second guy I dated was my co-worker when I was a teacher. Let’s just say it was harder to hide our fling because kids see all. We got in trouble. And it did cost me a job. I left willingly, but I could no longer work in that environment. Everyone knew and there was chaos. It was bad for all.
So, take it from me when I say dating a co-worker isn’t easy. You need guidelines and restraint. Here are seven rules for dating a co-worker from a gal that knows.
Do’s and Dont’s of Dating a Colleague 1 of 8
To date a co-worker or not date a co-worker? That is the question! This slideshow tells you to date your colleague, but to do it right.
No Hanky Panky 2 of 8
When you work with your lover, you may want to get a little dirty under the desk. It's exciting but it is dangerous! Oh. Wait. I may have sold you on doing the deed in your cubicle. But try to keep your hands to yourself. When you mix business with literal pleasure, your job may just be on the line. And there's nothing sexy about unemployment. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Eflon.
Mums the Word 3 of 8
When you begin dating your co-worker, keep it between the two of you. You don't know how others will react, especially if you work in a setting where gossip prevails. Also, you may not last. I know, you don't want to hear that! But it's true. Some office crushes are crushed before their time. Better keep it quiet until you know it will last. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/valpearl.
Review Your Employee Manual 4 of 8
In some places of business, it is illegal to date a co-worker. It will say it in the employee manual in black and white. So, stop making googly eyes! Review the laws of your work environment before making any moves. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/shutterhacks.
Don’t Do Lunch 5 of 8
I advise you not to do lunch for two reasons. 1) Co-workers will question your relationship if you are always spending breaks together. 2) You may just get tired of each other. If you are dating at work and then spending time together outside of work, you should find some time apart. That way you don't get on each others nerves. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/essjay.
No Drama or Fighting 6 of 8
The thing about dating a co-worker is that you cannot escape your co-worker. Have a staff meeting? There he is. Have a team lunch? There he is. Need to brainstorm? You guessed it - there he is! So, imagine how difficult it is to date a co-worker and contain your anger after a fight the night before. Not so easy, but it's a must if you want to keep your man and your job. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
Tell Your Boss If Serious 7 of 8
If your relationship with your colleague/lover is serious, you should tell your employer. Your boss will always want to know what's going on, especially regarding employee-to-employee relationships. Photo Credit: IMDB.
Avoid Preferential Treament 8 of 8
Let's say you're the supervisor and your boo just so happens to be under your supervision. This spells trouble if and only if you treat him differently. Don't give him first dibs on new accounts. Don't give him first pick of the breakfast donuts. Treat him like a co-worker, not a lover. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/pkingdesign.